House of Fu, Headrow, Leeds.
It’s always nice when you go somewhere new, and straight away get the impression they know what they are doing. They give that impression here.
I understand this is owned by the head chef from Ox-club (the restaurant in Headrow House) which is in the building immediately behind. Having spent 9 years working in kitchens in Tokyo, including a stint with Ivan Orkin (of Ivan Ramen fame), it’s fair to say he probably know his noodles!
The menu is ramen focused, but with a fair selection of rice-bowl type non-noodle options and a variety of sides.
We both had the house ramen dish which was excellent. It’s been many years since I toured the then trendy tonkotsu ramen joints of London and many more than that since I was in Japan so my benchmark is very rusty, but this was very good.
A brown tinted, silky, opaque broth with a hint of viscosity was rich, porky and full of flavour as you would hope it would be from a tonkotsu broth. The noodles were firm not sloppy, the generous portion of belly pork had a good BBQ flavour; seaweed, bamboo shoots, spring onion and soft boiled egg garnished.
For sides we had a crispy fried cauliflower which was very well executed, with the soft yielding parts and the light crispy parts all in the correct places.
Sticky rice bowl with crispy chillies was one my companion ordered and I must say I wasn’t salivating at the thought, but it far exceeded my expectations- the crunchy chilli being a really excellent homemade lao gan ma type affair, atop steamed sticky rice studded with black sesame seeds.
Service was excellent - attentive but simple. Switched on but relaxed. No frills but personal. No upselling. No tedious explanations when not requested.
Overall House of Fu does a great job of filling the ramen gap in Leeds’ eating options, and I will definitely be returning, sooner rather than later.
Cost for 2 ramen and 2 sides: ~ £35 (excluding drinks and tip).