Outcome: Unanimous Verdict
Salient feature: Gyoza
Ratio Decidendi: Great gyoza and well-balanced ramen that caters for most palates
Scope of Discovery: Chashu Tamago Ramen ($12.90), Gyoza ($5.90)
Case Note: The gyoza is the standout – generous serving, well seasoned filling and perfectly pan fried to finish. Not much more one can ask for and I’d happily come back to knock back plate after plate any day.
Even though I enjoyed my bowl of ‘classic ramen’ I’m confident that there’s no shortage of ‘purists’ out there who’d be quick to tell everyone how much better Gumshara is. I found the tonkotsu broth (I went with a shoyu base) to be flavourful without being overly heavy. In my opinion it’s well balanced, and in the goldilocks zone of appealing to 68% of palates in contrast to gumshara’s thick, almost gravy-like broth that can be very love/hate. The consistency of the ramen itself wasn’t the same level as Ryo’s (Crows Nest NSW) but was cooked al dente.
Obiter dicta: My personal view is that ramen is not too dissimilar from coffee – in that one’s enjoyment is inherently subjective. Once the minimum thresholds of broth flavour and springy noodles have been crossed – the rest is really down to personal preference. This becomes quite apparent when you visit Japan where there are so many different styles originating from different regions. To compare them would be about as meaningful as comparing royal gala apples to red delicious apples. It doesn’t help that most ramen joints in Australia, unlike Japan, don’t allow you to specify how you’d like your ramen cooked. You’re naturally going to favour a place less if you prefer your noodles extra hard or you prefer more garlic in your broth etc.