It’s not a secret that I love food. I also love video games. Do I know anything about Final Fantasy XIV? No. Honestly, I thought that it was Kingdom Hearts and described Final Fantasy as ‘the one with Daffy Duck?’ However, when Shoryu introduced their limited time, set menu throughout their UK branches there was no way I was going to miss out. It didn’t matter that I didn’t know the game because I do know food. And food is all that matters.
At £24 a person for this Shoryu set menu for two, Dann and I went off to eat our way through these themed foods. The theme within the food is told through little flags that have different characters on them, as well as the food’s naming. The set menu allows you to pick one of three dishes in the following categories; Starts, Ramen, Dessert, and Drinks.
Starting with drinks, we both ordered the Phoenix Down. This was a glass of mostly ice, decorated with a red feather, and a tart — but good few sips of drink — with large cranberry notes. The container was cute and it’s a pretty great start to the meal as I am a big fan of tart flavours and very much enjoy cranberry. The drink also contained umeshu, which sweetened up the cranberry.
For our starters, we ordered the Moogle’s Favorite Pumpkin Bun and the Moogle’s Favorite Chicken Bun — which were the highlight to our meals. The pumpkin bun is crispy, soft and delicious, covered in Japanese mayo and a lovely hirata sauce. There was plenty of pumpkin croquette inside, which was super delicious to bite through. As one would expect, the bun itself was fluffy and delicious. The chicken bun matched this pumpkin bun in quality, but with an arguable better sauce. The amount of chicken is less than you’d get with your pumpkin bun, but it’s enough for a delicious and filling bun. Made with chicken thigh, it’s a great choice if you do enjoy meat. We both could have probably finished off another two of these, each.
For our mains, we both ordered Behemoth Ramen — Shoryu’s classic ramen made with pork bone broth and with pork slices. This is a very nice ramen, the broth is so much more than a watery soup — it has depth of flavor and everything soaked in it becomes delicious. Mine, for whatever reason, came without crispy shallots, but I didn’t miss them much. The ginger on top added a nice bit of crunch. The only issue I had with my ramen was the noodles being a bit under done, but maybe we should have let ours sit in the broth for longer instead of just digging in.
Ending our evening, we had our desserts. Here is where things went a bit… amiss. The Chocobo’s Gysahl Cheesecake left a lot to be desired; The top of the cheesecake had a thick skin, covered in a bit of matcha powder, and it lacked a pleasing texture or taste. The middle of the cheesecake tasted of… well nothing. The base of the cheesecake was good, but overall, I would not order this again. Our other dessert was the Sweet Popoto Tart — a sweet potato tart with a huge scoop of creamy matcha ice cream. The tart itself felt a bit overdone, but the crust and filling were very good. Seasoned much like a pumpkin pie, this tart was sweet and savory, greatly complementing the generous amount of ice cream.
At the end of our dinner we were given a code for some in-game items (food based items!) as well as a coaster that advertised Final Fantasy XIV. I left completely full of food, leaving behind some of my dessert. I did end up ordering quite a few more drinks for my meal, as the Phoenix Down is, as previously mentioned, mainly just ice.
Overall, the meal was very good, it was just the desserts that were disappointing. I’m more of a savoury person myself and do wish I could trade those desserts for an extra set of buns! Shoryu has done some solid work with this set menu, and I plan on checking out more of these gaming themed pop-ups in the future.
There is still a few more days until the set menu expires. You can book a table via the Shoryu website.