Slurp on Cold Noodles This Summer

Swap the stir-fries and noodle soups for these chilled alternatives

There’s a reason why soup is a great winter food and gets pushed aside as soon as the temperatures start to rise, because consuming a big bowl of hot liquid on a boiling day is not an enjoyable experience. The mercury may not be hitting proper summer highs quite yet but if it’s already too warm for you to savour a bowl of ramen or plate of spicy dan dan noodles without a sweat forming, it’s time to bring cold noodles into your life.

‌Japan, China and Korea all have long traditions of serving cold noodles dishes, many of which come in a dressing (spicy or sesame sauces are popular) or with cold dipping sauces on the side. Thankfully, London’s noodle scene is in better shape than ever, meaning there’s an array of chilled noodle dishes on offer in the capital, from broth-less ramen to Chinese liangmian noodles. Here’s where to get ’em…


Tonkotsu is embracing the Japanese tradition of hiyashi chūka – noodles without the broth – with its chilli prawn summer ramen. It’s got chilled noodles in a sesame dressing, topped with crispy prawns fried in Eat The Bits Chilli Ketchup and half a soy-marinated egg.


Udon specialist Koya has a range of cold noodle dishes on its menu, including noodles with a cold dipping sauce and a cold broth to pour over, including hiyashi kistune, with sweet tofu and spring onion, and hiyashi saba with smoked mackerel and greens.

Marugame Udon

Can’t choose between noodles and salad this summer? You don’t have to with the new Shake Salad from Marugame Udon. The chewy udon noodles are paired with fresh salad, a ponzu dressing and toppings of popcorn chicken, teriyaki tofu and sesame prawn, which you shake to mix before eating.

Murger Han

Murger Han is nodding to the Chinese tradition of serving steamed cold noodles – originally created as an alternative way to pay royal tribute instead of using rice – with its cold rice noodles and chewy wheat gluten in a sesame sauce.

Noodle and Beer

This Spitalfields spot specialises in spicy Chongqing-style noodle dishes but if you can only handle one type of heat at a time, forgo the temperature and opt for the liang mian – cold noodles with seaweed, bean sprouts, peanuts, and Chinese pickled greens.

Dream Xi’an

At Dream Xi’an, Guirong Wei showcases a range of dishes from China’s Shaanxi province and one of the most famous is the chewy cold skin liangpi noodles, which are steamed and hand-cut, served in a spicy sauce.