Bite-sized Summary: Hands down one of my favourite new restaurants this year, Gogyo has reconfirmed my admiration for Shigemi Kawahara, i.e. the same guy that brought us Ippudo, i.e. the creator of my ramen dreams. After two visits, I’m in love with this Japanese eatery, which serves refined small plates alongside big bowls of slurpable Kogashi-style ramen.
In a space large enough to accommodate 80 people, Gogyo’s elegant and classically Japanese open layout, focus on clean lines, and a neutral colour palette suggests this is much more than just another ramen joint. Seated on high counter stools, we enjoy the view of the open kitchen, where ladles of broth are poured into searing hot woks for their signature kogashi ramen. This style of cooking creates an incredible depth of flavour characterised by a rich, charred taste previously unseen in Sydney. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the kogashi ramen, which I tried at my first visit, however, I’d very highly recommend trying it.
Crackling Piggy Roll ($6 each)
If you think a trip to Gogyo is for ramen alone, think again! And if there’s one pre-ramen snack you must order, it’s the crackling piggy roll — a warm, pillow-soft Japanese butter roll, filled with sticky, crispy pork belly, fresh, herbed slaw and a mild, creamy mustard sauce — heavenly!
Gogyo Original Gyoza ($14)
And if you’ve ordered the piggy roll, you may as well go for the gyoza as well. Perfectly formed with a golden, crunchy crust on one side and a delicious, juicy pork filling. Accompanied by a dab of house-made chilli paste, which has incredible heat and touch of gyoza sauce, these could be some of the best gyoza I’ve had in Sydney.
Wagyu Sushi Roll ($22)
Featuring rare strips of the softest wagyu beef, which isn’t chewy or tough in the slightest, with a small piece of prawn and jewels of salmon roe adorning a roll of pickled daikon and avocado — this sushi roll was pure heaven.
Shiokoji Duck with Umeshu Sauce ($24)
Then there’s the duck prepared with shiokoji, an umami-enhancing seasoning made from ‘koji’, which is the fungus responsible for fermenting soybeans for soy sauce. Together with thin, tender slices of duck, a sauce made from umeshu (a Japanese fruit liqueur) on top of a bed of charred spring onion, there is a pleasant balance of rich savoury flavour together with subtle sweet and sour notes. The fried cauliflower is nicely seasoned and works to add another textural element whilst also providing diners with something to mop up the excess sauce with. An enjoyable dish, however, probably not something I would order again given the array of dishes to choose from.
Chilli Shoyu: Spicy chicken broth, habanero pork mince, bamboo shoots, tomato, coriander, pork belly chashu ($17)
After trying the Kogashi Shoyu at my first visit, I was interested to try one of the other unique ramen offerings at Gogyo. And potentially even more enjoyable than the signature kogashi bowls, the chilli shoyu is definitely one for those who can handle the heat! Fiery orange chilli chicken broth with a glistening layer of chilli oil, juicy habanero pork mince, bamboo shoots and a thin slice of pork belly chashu are freshened up with the addition of chopped fresh tomato and coriander. Really, really delicious…and very spicy.
Despite being known first and foremost for its unique ramen offerings, I’ll have to admit that I still love hakata-style ramen the most! With that being said, the noodle soup at Gogyo is undoubtedly special and rich in flavours I had never experienced in a ramen before. Perhaps the reason why I’ll continue coming back to Gogyo, however, is their array of beautifully presented a-la-carte options. Highlights for me were the piggy roll, original gyoza and wagyu sushi roll.
This post is based on an independently paid visit to Gogyo.
52-54 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9212 0003
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