Updated: Jun 27, 2020
The foodie community of Cornwall was abuzz at the start of July when Bango Kitchen opened in Penryn. Offering up oriental dishes like sushi, bao buns, ramen, dumplings and other such delights for multi dietary choices.
I’m always a bit late to the party (almost deliberately so I can wait for the hype to die down and see if they still deliver) so I waited until my birthday (5th August for those wishing to send gifts next year) to visit.
I went with my mum and her partner Paul and the restaurant had a steady flow of business but wasn’t too hectic either – just as I like it.
Drinks first! I’m reliably informed by my Mother that the latte was smooth, creamy and made with love. I chose a Dynamite Valley Beer Pale Ale from a brewery down the road in Ponsanooth. A nice touch to offer drinks from such a local, small brewery and the ale wasn’t overly bitter, slightly hoppy and refreshing and didn’t take over my palette when it came to eating. It came neatly wrapped in paper rather than a stuck on label and once unwrapped revealed a voucher for a free half pint for those of us curious enough to search! It also made me feel like I was brown-bagging it which was strangely enjoyable!
The commitment to local suppliers was highlighted above the window with sushi fish coming from Matthew Stephens of St Ives, pork coming from Primrose Herd (7.4 miles away), eggs coming from St Ewe (13 miles) and coffee from within a mile!
Paul and myself went for the Pork Belly Ramen while my mum opted for a Teriyaki Beef Brisket Bao Bun (try saying that 5 times in a row really quickly!). We shared sushi, which is available pre-packaged to take out. I’m going to be a heathen here and say my only sushi experiences are supermarket sushi or the one time I went to Yo Sushi at Paddington train station – navigating the conveyer belt with maximum anxieties of public humiliation! This was packed full of flavour and 2 pieces was just enough to leave me wanting more. The Wasabi (I assume homemade) was like horseradish on speed, which I loved.
Starters and sushi down and so far so good amazing!
Onto a dish I’ve been waiting for somebody to bring properly to Cornwall since January 2016 (I was in Adelaide, and Adelaide and Ramen go together like puzzle pieces!). Topped off with crackling that was my first port of call, crispy, light and not attached to under rendered fat – perfect. Then onto the broth/soup. With it being a Pork Ramen I’m guessing the stock was made with pork bones as I felt there was a background of the sweet tone that roasting and boiling pork bones gives along with the saltiness of soy – I could have drank a bowl of the broth alone. The lightly poached egg added creaminess once I cut into it and the pork was so tender I didn’t need to chew. There was a perfect amount of food and it was faultless!
I tried a little of the Bao bun, which I’ve never had before and it’s perfect for lunch. Lighter than a traditional English bread bun with a sticky feel it offers a different bread experience than what we’re used to. The beef brisket was packed full of flavours with a wee kick and, as an old head chef of mine used to say, “it leaves you chasing flavours” which I think is wonderful way to eat.
Friendly service, nice clientele, industrial décor and an open kitchen all gave the place a welcoming but modern feel and it’s just a 10 minute drive away so I will definitely be returning!
Overall rating 8.5/10
The "chasing flavours" the food provides
Something different for Cornwall
Limited menu choice
Not many small tables for parties of 4 or less