Gogyo means five elements in Japanese (earth, fire, water, metal and wood). The restaurant is spacious, clean and fitted with modern wood furniture. The open kitchen enables patrons to see the live action as chefs conjure up delicious Japanese fare.
Recently we paid a visit to this new establishment in Surry Hills and tried the famous Japanese Kogashi Miso ramen. It was fully booked out so we got to sit at the bar, which gave us good vantage position to watch the chefs operate in real action. The dining atmosphere was classy with lovely background music, spirited conversations and laughter. Young professionals and families seemed to make up the bulk of the customers. I was impressed by how busy Gogyo was on a Saturday evening at 5:30pm.
The menu has been intentionally kept humble and remains true to its Japanese origin. The menu incorporates 5 types of ramen and assorted a la carte dishes. The most popular dishes are Wagyu Sukiyaki Spring rolls, Chargrilled Edamame, Goma Kingfish sashmi, the Gogyo original gyoza, or the whitebait isobe-Age.
For starters, we took fancy to the description of the miso codfish, though we thought it was pricey for an entree at a ramen joint. However, the codfish marinated in Saikyo miso turned out to be one of the highlight dishes of the evening. This simple Japanese dish incorporated 2 succulent soft cod fillets marinated in Saikyo miso. The tender soft fish fillets were served with paper-thin deep-fried burdock strips. This dish was a treat for my taste buds.
At the outset, the staff handed us black bibs and explained that it is because the Kogashi ramen is very dark in colour and it might stain our clothes. This Gogyo's specialty 'burnt" ramen has a miso based broth cooked in 300°C lard. We watched the chef heat up the soup base in a wok and it ignited orange flames in the kitchen! It was a visual spectacle.
We were served with a bowl of almost dark black broth topped with slices of pork belly chashu and the half umami egg was aesthetically placed on top of the black ramen. It was visually intimidating and it certainly aroused our curiosity. The flavour was intense, slightly sweet and not easily forgotten. After a while, it tasted very rich and this would be a stiff competition with Gumshara. I could not finish a whole bowl of this by myself.
We also ordered the signature Tonkotsu ramen, which was made from pork broth loaded with noodles, tender pork belly slices, spring onion, bamboo shoot and garnished with standard seaweed and half umami egg.
The pork bone broth was thick and gelatinous and had an oomph that infused my soul with rejuvenation. This was a familiar comfort ramen and I enjoyed the beautiful gooey egg. The noodles soaked up the broth to deliver the well-rounded and highly satisfying ramen experience. It was indeed rich, flavoursome and filling.