Eating World Foodcourt
Shop 209, 25-29 Dixon Street
Haymarket NSW 2000
+61 410 253 180
I will dedicate the next fortnight to a bunch of Sydney eateries. Why? Because I need to clear this backlog and because Sydney are currently sitting on the top of the AFL ladder and therefore, deserve a nice little tribute. While Adam Goodes and co are not very likely to care about a handful of Sydney restaurant reviews, I know a lot of you are anxious to read about my lovely weekend in Sydney all these weeks ago… or maybe not. Anyway.
One Friday morning, I hopped on a morning flight to Sydney which was a silly mistake on my part because my flight was delayed by 45 minutes. Now, delays are usually inevitable but given that I knew the Sydney-Melbourne route is the fourth busiest flight route in the world and given that it WAS the morning peak, arriving in Sydney on time was not going to happen. I didn’t have any breakfast that morning so when I finally landed in Sydney, I was STARVING.
After train-ing it to Museum Station and dumping my bags at my hotel, I power-walked several blocks to a non-descript foodcourt on Chinatown’s edge. It was just after 11:30am when I arrived – just in time for Sydney’s best ramen eatery, Gumshara, to open its doors for the day. Yep, what kind of a freak would run straight to a ramen joint as soon as she lands in Sydney instead of chill in her room for a few hours, especially after a hectic morning at Tullamarine? Yeah, me.
I had first heard about Gumshara from Dave who, in turn, had heard about it from his friends. According to them (and about 10 billion Sydney bloggers), Gumshara serves the best ramen in the country – and beats anything served as a ramen in Melbourne. I’m more ramen girl than Brittany Murphy ever was (RIP), so how could I not give this place a go?
Sydney’s bloggers love Gumshara’s signature pork spare rib ramen ($14.50), a dish that one can never find in Melbourne. Apparently Gumshara only makes 20 bowls of this particular ramen so I didn’t want to miss out. Luckily, I was one of Gumshara’s first customers that afternoon so I was successfully able to order a bowl.
120kg pork bones go into making a batch of that rich gravy-like pork broth that Gumshara is famous for. It then takes about seven days for the broth to reach the customer. This gives the bones ample time to produce a lovely rich flavour and enough time for a decent amount of collagen to be realised, essential for ‘maintaining smooth skin’ (says the board above the menu). In fact, there is so much flavour in the broth after seven days of soaking and simmering that no MSG is ever used to boost the soup’s flavour. Awesome.
I wanted to like this ramen. I wanted to madly fall in love with it, like countless others had done in the past. And I wanted to tell Dave that his mates were right. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out that way. The broth was full of amazing flavour, yes, but I felt that it was way too thick and tasted too pork-y. Is the latter a bad thing? Not necessarily for most, but it didn’t really go down well with me. Secondly, the pork spare rib was dry all over, inside and out. And salty, too. On the other hand, I did love the springy, doughy noodles which felt and tasted like the way ramen noodles should be. They were amazing. Finally, I was looking forward to trying their soft-boiled egg so I was disappointed to see that I didn’t get any in my bowl – idiot (i.e. me) should have read the menu carefully for eggs attract an additional $1.50. Boo.
Although I wasn’t completely enamoured with my ramen, it’s not to say that I wouldn’t be back. In hindsight, I should have probably gone with a chashu ramen in tonkatsu broth so I can make a fairer comparison to a Melbourne ramen. I probably should have requested a thinner broth, too. Ah well, next time, next time.