Exterior

Exterior

Blythe’s Verdict

Having been open for a little over a month, we were delighted to finally be visiting Maki & Ramen on West Richmond Street, to check out the sushi and noodle soup delights.

I was joined today by regular guest quester Arianna, who had previously quested to Kalpna and Namaste Kathmandu, amongst other places.

Lamb

Lamb

The sushi bar is very compact with the doorway slightly unusual and a little hard to negotiate, so it’s not the best overall for accessibility. It’s smartly appointed and has a good feel to it, though.

The menu comprises a selection of sushi sets, set out on a counter near the window, a range of ramen dishes and a number of yakitori skewer options. I opted for the latter two, with tonkotsu ramen alongside lamb yakitori and octopus balls. Arianna had some aubergine yakitori and cucumber sushi with edamame beans.

Sushi and edamame

Sushi and edamame

There were a few presentational wobbles, but generally the extremely friendly counter man made a great job of swiftly bringing neat looking dishes.

Octoballs

Octoballs

The centrepiece was the ramen which was excellent. For £3.95 for a small bowl this was outstanding value. It had wonderful depth of flavour and was packed with noodly goodness.

The lamb yakitori wasn’t quite so good, but the octopus croquette type things were much better. Arianna was very pleased with her dishes, too.

Ramen

Ramen

I’ve since been back with MJ and we discovered an expanded menu, including additional ramen options. It maintained the standard of the first visit and then some, as MJ outlines, below.

So overall, I really enjoyed Maki & Ramen. It’s a great addition to our dining options offering something quite distinct from the other Japanese places in the city. I’d recommend a visit and look forward to many restorative ramen samplings in the future.

MJ’s Verdict

I didn’t quite know what to expect when I met Blythe for lunch at Maki & Ramen. In fact, I didn’t even know where it was despite having ordered takeaway from the previous tenants years ago. The place has certainly been spruced up with bar seating around the edges and self lowering bar chairs.

Beef tataki salad

Beef tataki salad

The menu is concise and does what the name suggests. I opted for an order of the new salmon ramen (starter sized) followed by the beef tataki salad, because I simply cannot resist a good salad. Together we tasted chopped octopus nigiri (tasty if unmemorable) and dumplings (very tasty).

The ramen arrived first with two delicately cook pieces of salmon on top. The way the bar tops are set up are kind of self-serve. I had my choice of utensils and a thermos of green tea for us to share. The broth for the ramen was filled with a deep salmon flavour, without veering into overly-salty, while the noodles were good and the bits of veg a pleasant textural change.

The salad hit more highlights for me.The meat was chilled, but very well cooked and full of flavour in and of itself. The salad had tofu, seaweed – another fun texture change from the crunchy lettuce – tomatoes, cucumbers and a dressing that did a good job bringing all the elements together. It was fresh and light, a decidedly lovely dish I was not expecting to find.

Overall, I rather liked Maki & Ramen. It’s doing good, fresh food, quickly and cheaply. Go, try all the things, then go back again.

Scores
Blythe scores Maki & Ramen
4/5 for food
4/5 for presentation
4/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 15.5/20

Today’s questers were: Arianna, Blythe

We ate: cucumber sushi, edamame beans, aubergine yakitori, lamb yakitori, octopus balls, tonkotsu ramen

We drank: green tea

We wore: smart jacket, casual shoes

Total bill: £19.05

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Written by BKR