Hibiki’s website encourages you to “feed your soul” and “celebrate your senses” and, if it’s authentic Japanese cuisine specialising in ramen and sushi that you’re after, then we’d also add “fill your boots” at this rice and noodle joint in the shadow of the Bombed Out Church.
It’s clean and a bit clattery, but don’t let our atmosphere score put you off – the food is well presented and the choice plentiful. Let’s start with the cold cuts and if you don’t know your gunkuan from your nigiri, order the chef’s special sushi box and let him pick the best for you. Happy to go for it yourself, then seafood-wise, the sashimi includes salmon, tuna and shrimp, along with cuttlefish and Arctic clam, and there’s a mixed offer, if you fancy a bit of everything. Maki includes eel and crabstick – and vegan morsels take in avocado, cucumber and Japanese radish. There are two types of nigiri – the sushi nigiri includes a scallop version; the flame-seared nigiri includes Japanese chashu, or braised pork belly – and the gunkuan options include orange crab roe. Rice dishes take in chicken or pork katsu curries and beef mirin, and there’s a mirin beef ribs signature dish, too. Teriyaki turns up on the flame-seared eel dish and various ingredients get the tempura treatment, including the battered king prawn, which is given a star on the menu. If you like that, maybe get some gyoza too – chicken and vegetable dumplings come with a dipping sauce. There’s a miso soup, if your body is a temple, but it’s the ramen soup most people are here for, and there’s quite a choice, including vegetable and seafood. The traditional pork bone soup ramen will boost your mood and can be ordered with beef rib or pork belly; add black garlic oil for a rich, earthy and smoky edge to proceedings.
Dessert includes matcha or mango mochi ice cream (try saying that after a couple of sakes) and dorayaki – a Japanese pancake filling with red bean paste. There’s also smashed avocado and white fungus broth, served with honey, and not a slice of sourdough in sight.
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