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Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Gogyo Ramen, Surry Hills

Making ramen at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney

Is it ever too hot for ramen? According to the bustling dining room at Gogyo, Sydneysiders say no. Gogyo, the younger wilder sister to international ramen juggernaut Ippudo, opened in Surry Hills in late December 2017. It's the first outlet to open in Australia, joining branches in Kyoto, Tokyo, Nagoya, Fukuoka and Hong Kong.

Kogashi miso ramen at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Kogashi miso ramen $18

Gogyo's specialty is kogashi-style ramen, a buttery charred broth that requires lard to be heated in a wok to an eyebrow-singing 300 degrees Celsius. We order the kogashi miso ramen, but you can order the kogashi shoyu (soy sauce) variation too.

Kogashi charred miso ramen at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Kogashi miso with charred miso broth, chicken broth, half umami egg,
pork belly chashu and medium thin noodles

The slick of oil across the surface of the ramen is an indication of its richness. Its smokiness is more on the nutty side, like brown butter pushed to the edge than say, the smokiness you associate with woodfire. There's a mouth-filling buttery richness to the soup, coating each noodle strand with defiance.

Like any self-respecting ramen house, noodles are taken seriously here. Four types of noodle, of varying width and hydrolysis (water content), are matched to specific ramen bowls. That means flat medium-thin noodles with low hydrolysis for the kogashi miso, kogashi shoyu and gogyo tonkotsu; wavy medium noodles with medium hydrolysis for the tori (chicken) shoyu and chilli shoyu; thin soba noodles with medium hydrolysis for the shio (salt) soba and flat medium whole wheat noodles with medium hydrolysis for the veggie soba.

Tonkotsu classic ramen at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Tonkotsu classic ramen $17
Silky pork broth, half umami egg, bamboo shoots, pork belly chashu and
medium thin noodles

The tonkotsu classic ramen is not to be underestimated either. There's an umami heartiness to this broth, spiced up with a tingle of chilli. The accompaniments - fatty tender slices of pork belly chashu, a gooey boiled egg, pickled bamboo shoots and a generous huddle of chewy noodles - hold their own.

Freshly cooked ramen noodles at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Freshly cooked ramen noodles

It goes without saying that the best seats in this ramen house are at the kitchen counter. It's here that you score a front seat to all the ramen-prepping action, although I was secretly disappointed there was no shaking of ramen basket water all over the floor like they do in Japan. OH&S. Go figure.

Building ramen bowls at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Adding ramen fixings

What do you get is a non-stop performance of diligence and precision.

Adding pork belly chashu to ramen bowls at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Arranging the pork belly chashu

The kitchen functions like a well-oiled, and quiet, machine.

Marinated cucumber stick at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Cucumber stick $3.50

Before our ramen, we'd started with snacks in the main dining room, where the lighting was much more... romantic. Admittedly I'd scoffed at the idea of a $3.50 cucumber stick, but it turns out to be tastier than I expect. The whole cucumber has been quick pickled so it hasn't lost its crispness, then rolled in sesame seeds for added crunch.

Crackling piggy roll at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Crackling piggy roll $6

The crackling piggy roll is everything you'd want in a soft and yielding milk bun, with purple cabbage providing a cleansing foil to the sticky slab of pork belly.

Wagyu sukiyaki spring roll at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Wagyu sukiyaki spring roll $5.50

The wagyu sukiyaki spring roll is another surprise, eating more like a wagyu meat pie with its filling of tender and saucy sliced beef.

Fried rock potato at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Fried rock potato $11

When we finally score a seat at the coveted counter (patience comes to those who wait. And those who keep tabs on exactly which seats are being vacated and when), we continue our snackfest with a order of fried rock potato. Do you love crunchy roast potatoes? You'll love these.

If you can imagine a bowl full of golden potato bits, the kind where the crunch to innards ratio is almost equal, then this could be your dream come true. I know it was for me. And if you're the kind who rejoices in chips with mayo, then the generous puddle of garlic aioli has you sorted.

Codfish saikyo miso at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Codfish saikyo miso $28

We also order the codfish saikyo miso, marinated in sake, mirin and miso before being cooked on the robata grill. The result is a buttery and delicate fillet that flakes apart with the barest of nudges. The flavour is mild miso with a gently caramelised sweetness.

Red bean taiyaki with sobacha ice cream at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Red bean taiyaki with sobacha ice cream $11

We finish with red bean taiyaki, cute fish pancakes cooked to order in a special taiyaki machine. It's served piping hot in a paper bag just like you'd get at a traditional street stall in Tokyo. You can get a Nutella filling instead but the traditional red bean paste is smooth and not-too-sweet.

Sobacha ice cream at Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney
Sobacha ice cream

The taiyaki ice cream comes with a scoop of sobacha ice cream on the side. Sobacha means buckwheat tea, its flavour translating to a muted nutty tea flavour. I detect a floral backnote but others say it definitely reminds them of soba noodles.

In any case, Gogyo for the charred ramen. And the fried rock potatoes too. Try the sobacha ice cream for kicks.

Gogyo by Ippudo in Surry Hills Sydney


Gogyo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Gogyo
52-54 Albion Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9212 0003

Opening hours
Monday to Friday 12pm-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm
Saturday 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm
Sunday 11.30am-3pm, 5pm-8.30pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/06/2018 01:07:00 am


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