Gumshara Ramen, Sydney

Gumshara Tonkotsu Ramen (thick soup)

Gumshara Ramen, Sydney

Sydney is filled with eateries especially Chinatown. Urbanspoon seemed to have good reviews so here I am on a freezing cold summer night. The dish to judge ramen joints is the Tonkotsu ramen. The two critical constituents of a good ramen dish being the broth and the noodles. So many places attempt but so few places get it right. Hakataya, Brisbane,  Taro’s Ramen, Brisbane (blog post pending) gets it right. Bringing me back to Kyoto, Japan.

Gumshara is located in a food court within Chinatown. Not much sign or fancy decors except for a wall of photos of each dish. There were a few people waiting in line. As the noodle enters the bowel, somebody stirs it to ensure it is well separated.

The ramen has to contain the thickest soup I have ever tasted in a ramen. It might be a bit too thick. There was plenty of pork bone flavour for sure, but it was missing something. Possibly umami. The noodle was perfectly cooked along with good quality cha shu meat. (The half cooked egg was extra). Is it good? yes. But not for ramen beginners.

Gumshara Ramen,
Eating World Harbour Plaza Shop 209 25-29 Dixon St Map
Haymarket, NSW

Gumshara Ramen on Urbanspoon

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  1. #1 by tzu-yen on December 7, 2011 - 8:01 am

    The soup is very thick. But I think it lacks finesse (What I really meant here was that it was so powerful that the soup tasted of pork bones x 100. Not the perfect match on a hot Sydney day after a whole day of walking). It’s almost a gravy. Of course, they give the option of the lighter version. I want to give that a try.

  2. #2 by Cat on December 7, 2011 - 4:37 pm

    OMG! I tried that earlier this year (after failing to have it the previous year as they were closed for the New Year hols) and after all that trekking to find it….I agree. The soup was too thick and you may be right about it lacking umami. I wasn’t blown away. Different it certainly was, but yummy-I-want-another-bowl-stat I’m not too sure.

    Having said that, I saw the chef (and older man) taste every, single bowl of broth before it went out with disposable spoons. I also saw him throwing out the bowls of broth which he thought wasn’t good enough!

  3. #3 by tzuyang on December 9, 2011 - 8:14 pm

    Hi Cat, I have no doubt about the amount of effort put into each and every dish. In fact what I love about Japanese food is the obsession. Some of the greatest eateries have the simplest menus. I like that.

  4. #4 by taroinbrisbane on March 22, 2012 - 12:56 am

    Hi Tzuyang,

    Found your post on Gumshara. You sum things up really well! Gumshara Ramen is a special existence, and aptly said, not for beginners. They learned from the extreme (Muteppou) and they are serving an extreme product. Also the fact that they only use pork bones, water and soy sauce, this will only produce a one dimensional umami (inosinic acid), which is within the diversity of ramen in the Japanese ramen scene is a unique featuer of the product. Just a dash of MSG (the chemical essence of a stronger amino acid, glutamic acid) and they’ll have a huge following but they (same as me) don’t do that. To them, and to me, its not about business, its more the passion and art, and giving customers a honest truthful product. We cant cut corners. I also have customer reviews about “not having enough punch in the soup”, these people are so used to MSG in their food. And I cant blame them. I love all kinds of ramen and most ramen shops use MSG and it does pack a punch that gets people including me hooked! But same as Gumshara, I just made it my mission to create a bowl that will give customers genki! IT has to be tasty and it cant be unhealthy. In my tonkotsu soup I supplement the naturally inosinic acid rich tonkotsu soup with secret natural ingredients to add glutamic acid and guanylic acid for a synergic umami effect. To me, it really is the pursuit of umami, without cheating of course! Sorry got carried away and ended up advertising,,,

  5. #5 by tzuyen on June 29, 2012 - 1:30 am

    Taro, Just found your comment for some reason. Thanks for the insight. I think for Western Chefs, umami has been the ‘cool’ thing to talk about. This was brought to the attention when Chefs like Heston Blumenthal and Ferran Adria talk about it and explored it in more depth in Japan (eg attending the workshops of Ajinomoto.

    In re-retrospect, I am starting to really appreciate the differences in ramen even though I have a favorite style. I think Gumshara’s thick tonkotsu is so powerful that on the hot day it was a lot to take in. I am keen to give it another go and certainly try other flavours.

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