Sunday, May 10, 2009

Review: Goshu Ramen Tei, Wynyard

I wrote half this review at Easter and then promptly forgot to post it...

Next stop in my whirlwind tour of Sydney's ramen joints is Goshu Ramen Tei. You may remember me saying that it's next door to Condor Ramen, which is a little odd. At night both restaurants are very quiet and I really did wonder how two of them managed to stay afloat. At lunch time though apparently it's a completely different thing. Having some time off when the boy didn't I went to join him for a lunchtime ramen and these restaurants obviously thrive on business customers.

We had to wait for a table, and the service wasn't fantastic due to the busy crowds but honestly these days I worry about a ramen restaurant where the staff speak English and it's not so busy you're fighting for your food. If I want that experience I'll go to Wagamama. Like Condor it does suffer from being outdoors and next to the Harbour Bridge turn off, not to mention on small plastic tables, but what authentic Asian eatery doesn't?

Gyoza $6.50

The gyoza skin was soft and very light, unfortunately it hadn't been broiled very well as you can see by the variation on the colour of the skin and the sauce wasn't to my taste. After my excellent experience of Condor's gyoza from next door this was quite a disappointment.

Miso ramen $9.00

The boy was fairly underwhelmed by this dish, and many of those ordering it on Eatability seem to agree. The miso was a bit thin and not salty enough and the meat serving was on the smaller side.

Tantan ramen $11.00

My dish was far more pleasing, and in fact got more so as I got through the dish. I was hoping for a much spicier version based on the large layer of chilli oil on top however that seems to be from quite mild chillis or perhaps a prepared sauce as it was a bit of a let down. On the other hand there were plenty of Japanese leeks, bean sprouts and sesame seeds scattered throughout. The noodles were too al dente on arrival, they have definitely been dried at some stage but as the meal goes on they improve drastically in texture and become quite palatable. The thing that makes this tantanmen odd and potentially not much like a standard version of the disk is a strong sweet seasoning in the meat, almost as if it has been stir fried using a heavy hand of hoi sin. This level of sweetness is not normal for what is usually a robust hot dish however what it does is serve to make me appreciate it as an entirely different meal and one that is quite enjoyable. It's not stodgy like Condor's tantanmen and it's rich and warming; but not a very classic version of the dish.

By the end though I don't care and I'm declaring it a happy 8 out of 10 to the scowls of a very disappointed partner pawing sadly at his miso ramen.

To be honest I think Goshu needs to drop the "ramen" label from its name and differentiate as a Japanese bistro or even try izakaya style, something that would make it stand out from Condor ramen next door. Maybe half the attendees are white when I arrive, and the majority of them are ordering curry and karaage rather than ramen, in fact most of the menu is udon, bento and teriyaki dishes aimed pretty heftily at the gaijin. So much so that the boy is not able to order curry for himself as they are out. My dish was quite pleasing in the end and I'd probably return for it but it's not the creme de la creme of ramen in Sydney. For the difference in wait times though this makes a solid but not excellent choice for a lunch time bowl of noodles if you're not willing to wait or trek for better ramen.

Shop 2
5 York Street
Wynyard Sydney 2001
+61 2 9290 3745

Open Monday to Saturday 11am-10pm

No reservation required, no licence

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