Final Fantasy XIV x Shoryu Ramen: Warrior of Noms
Hungry for adventure? So was I, which is why I jumped at the chance to try out the new Final Fantasy XIV menu at Shoryu. The small chain of ramen restaurants is helping to celebrate the launch of Shadowbringers with a range of themed dishes and exclusive in-game loot, available now until July 21. And so, together with my brother-in-arms Ed Orr, we ventured to the New Oxford Street eatery in London to find out more.
Ed and I planned to take on this challenge as a duo, our oversized appetites compensating for the undersized party. But, stepping into the contemporary-styled restaurant, it quickly became apparent that this was a FATE. I’d never seen this number of FFXIV players outside of FanFest Paris, and some had been back several times to try out every combo of the three-course set menu.
Plushies and memorabilia were on several tables, players bringing them in to help boost their chances of winning a social media competition. The grand prize is worth winning, as a Shadowbringers-themed PlayStation 4 is up for grabs.
On to the noms, and we started with some surprisingly good starters. I went for the Ultros Takoyaki, a collection of deep-fried octopus balls that were incredibly moreish, while Ed chose a Moogle’s Favourite Pumpkin Bun that came with a nicely spicy hirata sauce. Two dishes and two winners straight out of the gate.
For the mains, Ed went for the Meteor Survivor Ramen, a natural tofu dish with tonyu soy milk-based broth. It was a combination that left him wanting a little more spice and seasoning, with kikurage mushrooms and bamboo shoots being part of a subtler flavour. On the other hand, I went for the Behemoth Ramen, a new take on Shoryu’s signature belly pork dish with added fried shallots. It made for an incredibly dense bowl that was thick with food and incredibly filling. We both went for soft noodles that were a little on the firm side but still good.
When desert came around, I went for the simple Paladin Mochi after being stuffed with ramen from earlier. Ed went for the Sweet Popoto Tart with matcha ice-cream - a refreshingly satisfying combo.
The set menu also includes a themed drink, and while I went for the cha-based Ishgardian Tea, Ed picked a winner with the cranberry and umeshu Phoenix Down, a drink so enjoyable he was still raving about it an hour later.
At £24 a head, the Shadowbringers set menu is a fun collaboration between Final Fantasy XIV and Shoryu. It’s also good value, covering the three courses and drink, plus a bonus card with a code for in-game food as well. These extra items grant a 4% XP buff for 30 minutes, providing a welcome boost while levelling through the First.
For me though, the best bit was getting the chance to geek out with others about the game, the expansion, and the characters we’ve met on the way. It’s for this reason - this experience - that I’ll be back to dine again before the menu closes on July 21.