As soon as we saw that Ippudo Chatswood had finally opened its doors (although only for a soft opening – its grand opening is not actually until 8th August), we headed there to try out their ramen.
The menu had a lot more variety than the Ippudo branch in Kyoto, which was good. We started with the pork bun and gyoza.
The pork bun was nice. The meat was tender, but adding more to the filling than a piece of lettuce could have made it better. Compared to the crispy, golden and juicy gyoza we had at Kyoto, the gyoza here was a little disappointing. The pork filling was overpowered by garlic and it was a little pricy, considering the portion size.
We had the Shiromaru ramen in tonkotsu broth blended with miso paste and garlic oil, and the Karaka Men, which was the spicy version with minced pork.
The ramen was decent. I quite liked the slight spiciness of the Karaka Men, but what I didn’t like was the near absence of bean sprouts and minced pork. For the price tag, it was lacking in generosity.
The egg was nicely cooked with a soft oozy yolk centre. However, the yolk didn’t have the same burst of salty soy flavour as the egg in the Kyoto Ippudo branch.
Unfortunately Ippudo Chatswood doesn’t live up to its Japanese counterpart. The ramen is still decent, but you can probably find ramen just as good (if not better) elsewhere for a lower price tag. Which brings me to…
Gumshara ramen has had a good reputation in food circles and I finally got around to trying a bowl. I had the Tonkotsu ramen with egg and it was super delicious. The broth was thick with collagen and tasted 100% pure pork – there was even a sign telling customers to alert staff if they would like the broth to be diluted.
Be sure to help yourself to the array of condiments freely available at the counter. There were sesame seeds, pickled ginger and garlic. The pickled ginger, especially helped to cut through the richness of the soup.
You can find Gumshara in the Eating World food court on Dixon Street in Haymarket.