My favourite type of men? Ramen. Particularly of the burnt miso kind.
While i assume most people dont associate the word “burnt” with images of edible tasty food, Sydney’s latest ramen joint might change your mind. Replacing the previous Salaryman site is Ippudos sister restaurant, Gogyo. With stores in both Japan and Hong Kong, the restaurant is most famous for its Kogashi burnt miso ramen.
I visited Gogyo on a Friday evening for an early dinner. My dining companions Michael and Steph were already strategically seated at the counter by the time i arrived, ready to watch the chefs work their magic with the fire. I rushed to the restaurant after work in the hot weather and was rather exhausted, ready for a much needed drink. A Yuzu Citrus Jelly Cocktail arrives shortly and i gladly quench my thirst with the refreshing citrus mixture that was just right amount of sweet.
Although the restaurant is known for its ramen, there are also a la carte items and sides available. The first dish to arrive was the Goma Kingfish, a sashimi dish served with Japanese tahini sauce, red shiso, shichimi pepper and nori seaweed. The first thing i noticed was the shiso (perilla) and then the strong umami taste of the red miso. The use of the more pungent red miso is noticeably different as restaurants tend to use the sweeter white miso (shiro miso) with raw fish dishes. The red miso has a higher percentage of soybeans and typically a longer fermentation period producing a more intense flavour used in heartier dishes such as soups and braises. It mildly overwhelmed the taste of the kingfish but each delightful mouthful was packed with flavour.
While Ippudo serves pork buns, Gogyo take it to the next level with their Crackling Piggy Rolls. I didnt expect much from the brief description on the menu but if there was one thing you had to order apart from the ramen, this would be it. Sandwiched between the pillowy soft Japanese butter roll was an incredible melt in the mouth fatty piece of pork (yes with crackling!) coated in their original tasty BBQ sauce. So sinful yet so good.
Next up was the Nasu Dengaku, a familiar and popular dish that my friends like to order when we eat Japanese. Gogyos version is surprisingly different to the ones im used to, the eggplant was covered in a crunchy light batter and comes as a tempura served with red miso sauce.
The Wagyu Flank Sumiyaki Fillet arrives next, Gogyo’s Japanese style butter and steak. The meat itself had a nice crust, served with shiso butter and grilled vegetables.
After the beef, it was finally time for ramen. The best thing about eating in a small group is that we get to share and try different things. We ordered three different types of ramen the signature Kogashi Miso, Kogashi Shoyu and Gogyo Tonkotsu. We were told that the miso is burnt at scorching 300 degrees and the ramen is served at 85 degrees.
But before we dig in, the restaurant prepared us with some black bibs. Although it may seem a little odd, i was wearing white that evening and i was grateful i had something to shield me from the broth. Wear a black bib to protect my clothes from the blackened broth, it makes perfect sense to me.
I started with the Gogyo Tonkotsu, which uses a delicious pork bone broth base instead of chicken. The Tonkotsu comes without the burnt miso and the broth is a cloudy white in colour. I was actually pleasantly surprised by this as it’s not a Gogyo specialty but it turned out to be quite tasty.
Out of the three ramens that we ordered, my favourite was the Signature Kogashi Miso. It’s an intensely rich, smokey and flavoursome broth served with a marinated egg and tender slices of pork belly. I liked the texture of the thin ramen noodles which was still a little firm, the ideal texture to match the strong Kogashi Miso broth which tastes slighter sweeter than the shoyu version. This is a very heavy dish however, so if you prefer a lighter version, i suggest going for the Kogashi Shoyu.
I was very full by this stage but there’s always a little room left for dessert. After all that salty broth, i was happy to end my meal with something sweet. We finished our meal with the Taiyaki (Japanese style fish shape cake) served with Sobacha Sorbet. The Taiyaki was a regular version filled with a red bean paste but I prefer the crispier puff pastry croissant version ive had in Japan. I really enjoyed the Sobacha sorbet on the side though (unfortunately not pictured), which had a lovely roasted and nutty flavour.
If you do plan on coming for the first time here are my top tips: order the signature kogashi ramens, come very hungry, dont wear white and wear the bibs! Happy slurping!