New Wave Ramen

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Ian Jones

Restaurant review: After causing something of a sensation at Mackie Mayor, New Wave Ramen opened its Tib Lane branch late last year to widespread praise. It’s a smart, modern-looking space, all high windows and great lighting, with people popping in and out all day to grab something to eat, drink or just say hi to the exceptionally friendly staff. 

It’s that kind of place, relaxed but bustling, and when it comes to drink and food, the quality is sky-high. On our visit, there’s a kitchen takeover by Kanada-Ya, the acclaimed ramen masters, up from their London base to treat Manchester to what could well be the greatest ramen ever made in the city. 

Takeover aside, New Wave’s drinks menu is up there with the best – and that includes its near-neighbour, the ever-wonderful 10 Tib Lane. The cocktails are dazzling and inventive, and incorporate some truly wild ideas. Ever fancied a French toast martini, made with burnt milk bread maple syrup, espresso and seasonal berries? It’s here and it’s astonishingly smooth. 

Meanwhile, the Melon Sour is the ultimate warm weather cocktail, made with Midori, vodka, two types of sake and vegan egg whites. The menu describes it as velvety and zippy, and that’s exactly what you get. Our advice? Make a special visit for this one. 

Back to the food, it’s a guest appearance from these globe-spanning ramen boffins, so the menu is pared back, showcasing Kanada-Ya’s core dishes. And that’s no bad thing – the karaage is as good as it gets: hot, crunchy and fresh from the stove, served with a dash of lime and some delicious yuzu-kosho Japanese mayonnaise.

But it’s the chashu don that steals the show. Again, it’s a simple bowl: steamed Japanese rice, topped with smokey slow-cooked pulled pork belly. I’m not sure how they manage it (a blow torch was spotted), but this is next-level barbecue meat – and there’s a lot of it – all for just £7. Please, all you enterprising street food vendors out there, take this idea and run with it. 

The Tonkotsu X ramen is apparently a London exclusive, and their top-selling bowl. It’s rich and deeply satisfying – all thanks to the high-grade pork and corn-fed chicken bone broth – but it’s the strips of charred-edge chashu pork belly that makes it.

The Gekikara is also known, Friends-style, as ‘the spicy one’, thanks to the big ball of aromatic ‘tan tan’ style minced pork that takes pride of place. It soon tumbles apart, mixing into the hot chilli-oil-infused broth, making for something eye-poppingly potent and unstoppably slurpable. Yes, slurpable is a word. 

New Wave Ramen is one of Manchester’s great drop-in bars and restaurants. The atmosphere is exciting and laid-back, all at once, plus the food is great and the cocktails are out of this world. Best of all, the current kitchen takeover project means there’s an excuse to pop in week after week. 

16 Tib LaneManchester M2 4JB View map
Telephone: 01617110710 Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Tuesday12:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Wednesday12:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Thursday12:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Friday12:00pm - 12:00am
  • Saturday12:00pm - 12:00am

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

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