Ramen Dayo

9 Gordon Street, Gordon Lane, Glasgow

0141 328 3202

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Lunch/Dinner: £6.50-£18

Food rating: 10/10

WE'VE been bubbling up bones for soup since the Stone Age but with the trendsetting opening of the Brodo Broth Company in New York, and the UK patronage of the Hemsley sisters, stock made from bones has never felt more cutting-edge. It would come as no news to your granny or her granny’s granny that meaty stock has restorative properties. Bone broth is a DIY alternative to several expensive food supplements. It provides you with minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Dissolved material from cartilage and tendons make it a natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine (sold as supplements for arthritis). The amino acids in it have an anti-inflammatory effect. It’s super-cheap to make, satisfying yet not fattening, and the liquid essence of nose-to-tail eating: the frugal use of carcass parts that are all too often wasted. Last, but not least, its warming, savoury properties are restorative to body and soul.

But making bone broth isn’t that easy. It demands commitment to assembling the required bulk of the right sort of bones, and the patience to reduce the bubbling liquid to a fraction of its former volume to produce liquor that’s positively packed with flavour. It’s easy to boil up a tasty enough broth, but to arrive at the depth of concentration needed for a steaming bowl of exemplary Vietnamese pho, or Japanese ramen, now that’s a different story.

And knock me over with a feather, but Ramen Dayo in Glasgow is actually doing it. I have eaten noodles in Kyoto and Tokyo, and I have never tasted stock as brilliant as Ramen Dayo’s thick, mouth-filling, 20-hour tonkotsu pork broth. Forget Rescue Remedy or Day Nurse. If you’re coming down with something, you need to get a bowl of this down you.

Off an old covered lane on Glasgow’s Gordon Street, Ramen Dayo is a dead ringer for one of those semi-permanent street food spots in Japan. Steaming stock, strings of paper lanterns, slatted wood, flapping red banners printed with black Japanese script, the glint of the pavement cobbles, the flimsy split cane screening that acts as a ceiling, an oriental shadowiness, a majority of Asian diners – it all rings true.

Appearances apart, this outfit is faithfully Japanese in its single-minded focus on its speciality. It’s all about the broth. Forget all that "pan-Asian" nonsense. The person who set up Ramen Dayo turns out to be a Glaswegian who lived in Tokyo and became obsessed with its noodles; someone who has experimented until he got it right in Glasgow, and who isn’t going to deviate from that noble purpose.

That said, you can nibble away on edamame beans, and Ramen Dayo also serves scintillatingly fresh gyozo dumplings, impeccably half-steamed, half-fried just exactly as they should be. So we do, and then it’s three different steaming bowls of ramen, each wonderful in its own way.

First up, the essential tonkotsu noodles. The broth seems almost creamy it’s so thick, loaded with intrinsic porky flavour. The excellent springy ramen coil around thin slices of five-hour braised "chashu" pork belly, sharp-marinated kikurage mushrooms, spring onion, and green-black sheets of nori seaweed.

Next, the tonkotsu miso black, the mother broth and customary components enriched with miso (fermented soy bean paste) and supercharged with pungent "burnt" garlic oil, or rather, oil made from thinly sliced cloves that have been sizzled to a golden-amber hue. You want to stick your head above the bowl and inhale because it smells so deliriously good.

Then there’s the tantanmen, the basic broth turned brick red and nutty with spiced sesame paste, topped with chilli-laced ground pork, and threads of angel hair chilli, freshened by a cooling leaf of juicy pak choi. It’s impossible to rank them in a hierarchy of preference. It’s more about your favoured style, even your mood. Ramen Dayo serves a vegetarian broth too; I bet it’s a bit of alright.

A bowl of ramen here is cheap and sustaining: £7.50-£8.50. You need nothing else. But FYI, the matcha tea, black sesame, and azuki bean ice creams are stunners in their own right. You might want to check them out.