[Sydney] Gogyo Ramen known for specialty ‘burnt kogashi ramen’ with miso or soy based broth cooked in 300°C lard, remains as one of my favourites in Kyoto.
When I found out about this Gogyo Ramen at Sydney’s Surry Hills (near all the café-hopping spots), I knew this is where I needed to head to.
The Surry Hills location is the 6th for the Gogyo brand, and they have five other stores across Japan and Hong Kong.
The brand is originally founded by Shigemi Kawahara, who has been dubbed the “Ramen king” in 2003. He is also the founder of Ippudo, one of the most popular ramen chains in the world.
Something about the ramen culture in Japan is customers typically head there for a quick one-bowl meal (perhaps plus a side or two), seated on counters where the meal is completed in rather quick time.
However in other parts of the world, ramen-dining can be a more considered and group affair, where friends hang out for ramen, sides and drinks after work izakaya-style.
Thus, the ambience of the Sydney’s outlet is quite like Japanese casual-bar dining.
The restaurant was designed by Paul Kelly, with lots of attention paid to detail as they use colourful ramen bowls (black, white and red to indicate the types), as well as premium glassware, Japanese baskets to place your belongings.
In terms of the interior, it is quite dark with exposed brick, polished concrete floor, dark wooden tables and chairs, lighter wooden panelling above the dining area for contrast as well as light wood tall bar stools.
The space is welcoming, cosy and quite expansive. There is a big bar as well as capacity for 80 people to be seated.
Diners can choose to sit at the table or watch the chefs preparing the Kogashi-style ramen by sitting at counter stools.
In terms of ramen, people go for the Kogashi Miso (AUD18) of charred miso base with original chicken broth, half umami egg, pork belly chashu served with Noodles; Kogashi Shoyu (AUD18) of charred shoyu base, original chicken broth, half umami egg, pork belly chashu; and Chilli Shoyu (AUD17) spicy chicken broth, habanero pork mince, bamboo shoots, tomato coriander, pork belly chashu served with noodles.
Some of the other small dishes offered include Goma Kingfish (AUD22), Salmon Sashimi (AUD18), Japanesian Coleslaw (AUD10), Sweet Sticky Pork Belly (AUD24), and Wagyu Flank Sumiyaki (AUD32).
Most people go here for the signature Kogashi Ramen (AUD18).
The noodles is also called “burnt ramen”, where the base tare sauce is heated to 300 degrees (base can be made from red and white miso OR shoyu), after which then the main soup stock is added.
However, I didn’t see very big fires produced in the kitchen like in the Japanese branches. The team here uses a laser thermometer to help produce it as the temperature needs to be 300 degrees Celsius.
The char adds a very unique smokey, fragrant and bittersweet flavour which is a signature taste for Gogyo and what people come for.
The cooking process is unique, (some) flames if you hand out by the counter and quite exciting to watch.
While the broth was still deep and rich, it didn’t have the some kind of heat and impact as the bowls I had in Japan.
Their noodles have a higher level of alkalinity and hardness and are a bit flatter than the usual say, Ippudo’s Hakata style of noodle.
The reason for this is because the broth is more intense, so the noodles do a better job of absorbing the flavour and maintain their hardness.
For something safer, you can always head for the Gogyo Tonkotsu (AUD17) of creamy pork broth, half umami egg, bamboo shoots, and pork belly chashu.
This is a casual dining place where you can go with friends to enjoy a drink at the bar with some bites (shared snacks, sashimi dishes, robata grilled mains), then end with ramen.
52-54 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW 2010, Australia
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 0003
Opening Hours: 12:00pm – 3:00pm, 5:30pm-10:00pm (Mon – Thu, stays open until 10:30 on Fri), 11:30am – 3:00pm (Sat – Sun), 5:30pm – 10:30pm (Sat), 5:00pm – 8:30pm (Sun)
Google Maps – Gogyo Ramen