Time Out (Sydney) - - FOOD & DRINK - Jor­dan Kretch­mer

GO­GYO COMES FROM the same peo­ple who brought the Ja­panese ra­men jug­ger­naut Ip­pudo to Australia. They spe­cialise in a ko­gashi (‘charred’) ra­men, which in­volves a pan heated to a smok­ing-hot tem­per­a­ture be­fore a dol­lop of miso paste is added, and then it’s deglazed with chicken broth. The re­sult­ing ra­men are un­der­pinned by a smok­i­ness that’s in­tense in flavour and ap­pear­ance. They’re im­bued with ash flecks, and the chewy noo­dles and chashu look a lit­tle omi­nous and odd swim­ming in the slick black broth, but they taste damn good. It’s not as heavy as a tonkotsu cour­tesy of the lighter chicken broth base, but it still has a rich umami flavour and salty in­ten­sity thanks to the charred miso paste. As soon as you step in­side Go­gyo the first thing that hits you is a smoky, burnt aroma waft­ing from the fast­paced open kitchen, where they’re firing up the uniquestyle ko­gashi ra­men. The sec­ond is prob­a­bly the fa­mil­iar­ity of the space – it was pre­vi­ously home to Salary­man. The neon guts of the Al­bion Street space have been stripped right back – now it’s all about blond­wood ta­bles, white tiles, del­i­cate flo­ral ar­range­ments and muted tones. Bonus points for the in­ter­est­ing soundtrack of Ja­panese jazz and J-pop to up the mood. While the charred miso ra­men is the main draw­card here, it’s worth try­ing the chilli shoyu too – it’s one of the most dy­namic shoyu broths we’ve had in Syd­ney. Lip-tin­gling chilli stays present well af­ter you’ve wran­gled the curly, elas­tic noo­dles. It’s el­e­vated by punches of herby co­rian­der and hunks of tomato, which add tex­ture, while pork mince adds a very light sweet­ness.

While you’re com­ing for the ra­men, this is also the sort of place you could eas­ily pop in for a half-and-half Asahi (that’s a mix of Asahi dry and black) or a glass of on-the-up Ja­panese white wine, sit up at the bar and work your way through the snacks. You’ll see the clas­sic run of gy­oza and edamame, but make sure you check out the chicken ‘jerky’. The sin­gle ten­der­loin is cut into 12 pre­cise slices – it’s smoky and pep­pery and man­ages to bal­ance a dry­ness that gives it the feel of a cured meat while still be­ing moist and mor­eish.

The crisp pork-belly bun is rem­i­nis­cent of Ip­pudo’s steamed buns with a hunk of gelati­nous pork be­ing the star, fresh­ened up by a sin­gle per­illa leaf and shreds of cab­bage, while the sin­gle smash­able spring roll sees a crunchy rec­tan­gu­lar won­ton skin en­case soft shreds of bul­gogistyle beef. Or­der all three, kick back and watch the kitchen in all its fiery glory. Go­gyo’s ra­men and pre­ci­sion snacks are right up there, so bring on the big chill and a bowl of charred soup, thanks.

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