52-54 Albion Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
+61 2 9212 0003
If you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, you’ll know that I’m kinda obsessed with ramen. And one of my favourite things about living in Sydney – besides the lovely weather, harbour sea breezes and Iggy’s bread – is having access to some damn good ramen restaurants.
The last time I was in Japan 1.5 years ago, I visited about nine different ramen restaurants in the space of two weeks. One of the ramen restaurants was Gogyo in Kyoto, famed for their signature burnt ramen. Out of all the bowls of ramen I devoured on that trip, Gogyo’s burnt miso ramen was definitely the most memorable. So when I found out that Gogyo was opening a restaurant in Sydney this year, you can imagine how excited I was.
Bean and I decided to suss out Gogyo one Sunday afternoon. Occupying the former Salaryman space, Gogyo is only a short walk from Central Station – I would avoid driving there like we did due to the never-ending road works in the area as well as limited parking spots, paid or otherwise. If you’re a square like us and rock up at 12 on the dot like we did, then you’ll have no issues getting a seat either at the bar or on one of the tables. Arrive a little later and you might need to wait, but not for too long as the turnover is reasonably quick.
Gogyo’s Sydney menu is slightly different to the Kyoto menu; Sydney has more millennial-type entrees including a dish called the ‘uni-corn’ (har-har yeah okay, hilarious) and they do a Nutella taiyaki for dessert which people seem to order a far bit according to my Instagram feed. I didn’t bother ordering any of the entrées: I was just here for ramen and only ramen.
There are three ramen dishes on the menu and one soba dish for the vegetarians. Two of the ramen dishes happen to be cooked in the Gogyo signature ‘kogashi’ (‘burnt’) style: charred lard base that’s heated up in a wok that’s then tipped over the handmade noodles. The bowl is then seasoned with shoyu (kogashi ramen dish #1) and miso (kogashi ramen dish #2), then topped up with a rich chicken broth. As a result, the broth is so tasty and rich with that unmistakable signature smoky flavour. Your personal trainer might not be pleased after he or she discovers that you’ve down a bowl of this ramen when you should be eating kale salads and smoothies but your tastebuds will most defiitely be ecstatic.
Bean had the kogashi shoyu, topped with two pieces of chasiu, cabbage leaves, half an egg, a naruto slice and a sheet of nori. The Kyoto version had lots of cabbage leaves which I didn’t like so I was glad to see the cabbage quota significantly reduced here; that said, others have said they wished to see more cabbage to balance out the rich broth.
While the kogashi shoyu was lovely, I preferred my kogashi miso. I found that the nutty miso base carried the smoky notes throughout the broth better, resulting in a ramen that had more flavour and depth. The toppings were the same as the shoyu version, right down to the egg that was disappointingly a tad overcooked. Everything else though was great, right down to the handmade noodles that had just the right amount of bite.
I’d definitely return for more for that delicious kogashi miso broth, hoping to see a runnier egg. I also wouldn’t mind trying Gogyo’s tonkotsu ramen – while it may not be their signature dish, I’m sure it wouldn’t be half bad either.