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was a mega year for ramen in London (Ippudo, Kanada Ya etc all) , and the next Japanese soup trend is hot on its heels. Simpler and healthier, udon is about to take London by storm. Den has landed moments away from Kings Cross, situated in the old Prince Albert pub on Acton Street. Gone are the sticky carpets and dark wood paneling. The minimalist interior still smells brand new and echoes modern Japan.

Start with the udon pretzels, curly and crunchy pieces of deep fried noodles – highly addictive. Then there’s the tender pork belly in red wine and mixed vegetable tempura, simple but spiked up with unconventional veggies such as Brussel sprouts, cherry tomatoes and butternut squash, and it wasn’t even Christmas…controversial!

Den interior LOTI
Den beers LOTI

The Udon dishes are split into three sections; cold noodles with dipping sauce, hot noodles with no sauce and hot noodles with broth. Then there’s the different broths and toppings to chose from, classic pairings such as pork belly and cabbage, duck and mixed leaves are fail safe options but we digged the salmon with white Dashi, umami rich, with thick, springy udon noodles.

What’s great about Den? It’s cheap. You’re unlikely to spend more than £20 a head, and that’s including drinks and nibbles too. Head there for a quick lunch or light supper after that East Coast journey. Trust us, it’s better than the sandwich from the trolley cart.

Den, 2 Acton Street London WC1X 9NA