It’s important to live your best life, and what better way than to surround yourself with ramen 24/7. The buttery, salty noodle soup of Japan that literally turns all frowns upside down is a blessing from the gods, and we don’t want to brag, but Sydney is home to some of the best ramen. Whether you’re into slurping that thick miso based ramen broth, or prefer a lighter soy based tonkotsu, look no further—we have the answer to all your ramen prayers.
We legit couldn’t deal when Brisbane’s best ramen joint known to man, Motto Motto, opened up its doors in Sydney late last year. Our hot tip is to get slurping on their tan-tan men, a creamy based ramen soup with a spicy sesame 12-hour pork super stock served with pork mince and veggies. Oh, and do not forget to add a side of gyoza too—trust us.
This ramen hot-spot is new to Surry Hills but not at all new to ramen-enthusiasts worldwide. Coming all the way from Japan and Hong Kong, the guys at Gogyo know their stuff. There are two types of legendary ramen up for grabs including the burnt miso ramen, and their special soy-based ramen. If it were up to us, a bowl of both would be ideal, alongside some sake and cocktails—you’re legit guaranteed to have a good time.
Get on down to Chaco Bar for a whole menu dedicated to ramen. Our picks are the chilli coriander with chicken cha shu, egg and black fungus, or the yuzu scallop ramen with prawn and john dory wonton, leek and Hokkaido scallops because #ramengoals.
If you’re all about thick noodles, then Ramen O-San has you covered. O-San dishes up ramen with slightly thinner, eggier noodles, super thick soup and a homemade soy-bean paste that will blow your god damn mind.
Rising Sun Workshop
Rising Sun Workshop is just about peak Newtown, possibly even outdoing that hippy vegan sushi place. They describe themselves as Sydney’s first communal motorcycle workshop and cafe, serving single origin coffee, baked goods, and ramen. The twain have well and truly met in their breakfast ramen: with buttered toast, bacon, and grilled tomatoes being added to traditional tonkatsu broth. It’s a hell of a way to start your morning, one that we really can’t recommend enough.
CBD & Neutral Bay
‘No Ramen No Life’ is the slogan on the staff shirts, which is pretty much our attitude to things these days. Yasaka specialises in tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen, which tends to be on the richer (read, more delicious) side of things. Try their Tsukemen, dry noodles with the soup on the side to dip them in.
For a lighter tonkotsu broth with sweet don noodles, Ramen Goku should be next on your ramen checklist. It is strongly advised that you pair your ramen with some of Ramen Goku’s tasty steamed buns filled with katsu and karaage chicken, steamed fresh to order.
Ippudo is a part of a big international chain, they’ve got franchises in over 10 countries, so if you’re the type to be concerned about Big Ramen crushing the little guy you might want to look away now. If you’re still here, good call—Ippudo is dope. Try the Tori Shoyu ramen, a Sydney exclusive that includes chicken chashu, bamboo shoot, and chopped leek.
For years now Ryo’s has had a reputation of being one of Sydney’s best ramen houses. And truly, it’s not difficult to see why—it’s just old school awesomeness. Go off menu and try the special. We’ll not spoil the surprise for you, but we will say it’s probably the best char siu in town.
It’s almost too obvious to mention, but the noodles really do make a difference to the ramen experience. And this is where Gumshara shines. They’re not quite hard noodles, but they definitely have a bite to them. Am I allowed to say al dente ramen? Because that’s what you’re getting here. Past the noodles, the tonkatsu is the star of the show.
Manpuku Ramen is a lot of fun. Got a really chill, happy, vibe that we pretty much always dig in a restaurant. Check out their speciality ramen—#7 of the menu. We’re not even going to try and list it here because the name is about twenty words long, but they’re the only place in Australia that’s doing it. It’s soy-based, featuring both pork and chicken in the broth, and tastes totally and utterly delicious.
Haymarket & Chatswood
Last, but by no means least, Hakata-Maru Ramen rounds out our list of the best ramen in Sydney. As you might have guessed from the name, hakata ramen is the speciality here. Hakata ramen is made with a milky tonkatsu broth—rich, but not too rich. If you’re a genuinely cooked individual and aren’t into that, check out the shoyu ramen—it’ll give you a lighter, cleaner, and almost equally delicious flavour.
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Gogyo | Image credit: Federica Portentoso