There’s been quite a bit of fanfare surrounding the arrival of the famous Japanese ramen joint Gogyo in Australia, which is the sister restaurant to the ever popular Ippudo ramen eateries. As huge fans of Ippudo, we decided to make the trip to the slopes of Surry Hills to find out if Gogyo’s signature burnt miso ramen lives up to the hype.
Gogyo has an unassuming entrance which disguises the comfortable size of the space inside, and is located on the former site of Salaryman, a short walk up from Central station. It is more sleekly decorated than the various Ippudo restaurants around town and has a modern zen vibe about it, even with the shooting flames which occasionally light up the kitchen behind the bar when they char some miso for their signature ramen.
Before we got into their ramen though, we snacked on a couple of Crackling Piggy Rolls which featured bundles of rich, tender pork smothered in mustard with occasional shards of crackling as we munched our way through the rolls.
Crackling Piggy Rolls, $6 each
The starters set the scene nicely for the richness of the ramen to come – first off we had the Gogyo Tonkotsu to ease our transition into the mains before progressing onto the charred ramen options. It was a good move, as the Gogyo Tonkotsu had a smooth pork broth which was delicious without being overpowering, with a tasty half umami egg, bamboo shoots and pork belly chashu all blending together to create a bowl of rather comforting, home-style ramen.
Gogyo Tonkotsu, $17
Next up, we took the plunge into the famous Kogashi Miso Ramen which showcases their signature charred miso base. On first impressions the blackened broth was quite intimidating, but once we had our first sip we marveled at the complexity of the controlled char coating the strong miso flavour mixed with the light chicken broth. It is a lot to take in for your tastebuds and after a few spoonfuls of the broth with the medium-thin noodles, we had to take a break from the richness.
Kogashi Miso Ramen, $18
We found some respite in the Kogashi Shoyu, which is also a charred ramen option but featuring a shoyu (soy sauce) base instead of miso. We felt a bit like Goldilocks, as to us the Kogashi Shoyu was just right – not too light and not too strong, the char elevated the simple flavour of the shoyu base to create a balanced broth which we kept lapping up with the springy noodles. For those who are wondering whether the Kogashi Miso may be too much to start off with, we’d recommend dipping your toes in with the Kogashi Shoyu first before moving onto the Kogashi Miso if you prefer a thicker option.
Kogashi Shoyu Ramen, $18
We finished our dinner on a sweet note with a couple of desserts which were a lot more complex than we expected in terms of flavours and technique – the traditional Red Bean Taiyaki pastry was served with a scoop of delectable roasted seed ice cream on the side that we loved and the Mango Bongo dessert featured an intriguing yuzu curd and toasted coconut for some texture along with fresh summery mango slices.
Mango Bongo, $12
With their carefully curated selection of ramens and small bites, there’s something for everyone at Gogyo and their gorgeous decor incorporating contemporary Japanese elements (and a lot of polished wood) provides a lovely ambience for a social catch up with a touch of luxe. We will definitely be back to get more bowls of their amazing Kogashi Shoyu ramen – try to visit early in the evening to nab a table or on weeknights to get ahead of the hungry crowds lining up on the weekends.
52-54 Albion Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010
mmm ramen would be so perfect for this chilly weather!