Trying out LLama app in London p1.

After working on and testing out the LLama app for a while in San Francisco, I was very curious on how the app will serve our vision down the road: travel to a city we have never been to and open the LLama app, we should be able to see which local dishes are recommended around us.

So I went to London.

London also seems to be a good destination to see if the stereotype of London having bad food is true. There is only one way to find out.

This was right before Christmas so things were beautifully decorated on the streets, restaurants were crowded and people were happy. 8:30PM, I arrived at the Airbnb place in London. Lying on my back in a small bed in a tiny apartment in Soho, I was confused if I was trying to fight my jetlag by keeping my eyes open or I was tremendously hangry. I grabbed my phone and opened LLama. There were actually many dishes popped up as I scrolled down the home screen. I sorted them by distance and I saw a few good looking ramen dishes. I know, I tried to convince myself that I came all the way from another continent to England to try their native food, anything else but ramen which I could always have back home in SF. But the reviews and the pictures of their dishes looked so good! And it was also not that far a walk from my apartment.

Hakata tonkotsu ramen

at Shoryu Ramen, London

I have to admit that the data we have for London was just experimental so there was no phone number, no hours listed; so I had to cheat by going to Google Maps and made sure if they were still open.

The restaurant was packed, but I was lucky enough to have a seat right away facing the window since I was going solo. The waiter greeted me with her elegant British accent at this seemingly authentic Japanese restaurant. I ordered their signature Hakata tonkotsu ramen dish. Are you ready? Drum roll please…. Here we go: the best ramen I had had in my whole life (outside of Japan)!!!

The broth was perfectly made. I loved the rich white pork soup. It was just perfect, not too salty but savory. The after taste was awesome. The ramen was special too, they are straight and thin ramen noodles. The meat was good and high quality. The egg was delicious, but nothing more special than the ones we have in San Francisco.

Chef Kanji Furukawa who was born and raised in Hakata, Japan created this special Hakata ramen recipe. His mission is to provite the UK with highly crafted, genuine tonkotsu rarely found outside of Japan. He keeps a small farm just outside of London to grow his own organic vegetables for the delicious ramen dishes he made here.

I was elated eating that delicious ramen dish, knowing that the LLama app we worked so hard on took me there! Now I had more confident about the vision of the project: just travel to a distant city, and you just know good food is waiting for you there. Check out other parts of this series when I discovered different delicious dishes in London on this trip!