It's a cold that you can hear following you, down wind tunnels and across hard, grey concrete surfaces skimming them like rocks across the pond and finding every tiny crevice in your clothing to seep through. It's the cold that tells you in no uncertain terms that winter is here.
Yes I'm a sook when it comes to the cold.
And when I need to get out of a cold situation, I turn to food. Ramen to be specific. Gumshara Ramen specialise in Tonkotsu ramen, that thick broth made out of pork bones, fat and collagen that cooks for hours to release the marrow and collagen from the bones. The texture of this grey white broth is creamy, buttery and rich. Because this broth is collagen rich, it is said to be good for the skin and it's also one of those rib sticking concoctions that keeps you full for hours after you've eaten it. If you are after the tonkotsu, avoid visiting between 3-5pm as that is when the bones are removed and they make a new broth for dinner time.
Apart from tonkotsu broth, there is also garlic and miso broth. There are also a number of additions that you can add on top of or next to your ramen from a soft yolked egg, barbecue pork slices, pork spare rib, chilli bomb, to dumplings to chilli pickled cabbage. Oh and the meaning of Gumshara or phonetically Gamushara according to my Japanese friend Carbon Debit is "recklessly or frantically doing something with such extreme concentration that you are not considering the consequences or people/environment around oneself!"
Chinatown's Eating World food court is bustling this evening and there are plenty of places to choose from. But I know that Mr NQN has his ramen rumbling belly ready for one dish. The super mega ramen noodle that is supposed to feed two. Or perhaps one hungry husband.
Super Mega ramen noodle $25
In the super mega ramen noodle is a pork spare rib, bbq pork slices, pork skewer and a gooey yolked egg cut in half. Under that is a large bowl of ramen noodles, a sheet of nori and the thick tonkotsu broth. I asked for a extra bowl and took bits and pieces from it but I left most of this to Mr NQN who ate almost everything but the meat. The roast pork slices are generously portioned at a dozen pieces and they have a jellied ring of fat around them.
The pork skewer is delicious with two squat, tender pieces of pork while the pork spare rib is enormous with its striated layer of fat and meat. That is a little on the dry side for both of us. The ramen underneath is good, with a nice bite back to the texture although the longer you leave it in, the softer it gets and I like ramen al dente.
Curry and chilli bombs $2 each
On another occasion Mr NQN and I visit post workout to we've made sure that we're requisitely starving. I ummed and ahhed for a while before deciding to go with the lighter soups on offer. We ordered the tomato tonkotsu with a light broth (you can also choose a thick broth) as well as a bowl of shoyu or soy based ramen. For good measure I also order a curry bomb and a chilli bomb on the side.
Shoyu ramen $13
Each ramen again takes a while to ready as it is made fresh and it allows me time to go around looking for a drink. When I return the ramen is ready and I try the shoyu ramen first. The main flavour is fish as the clerk had described it but adding the curry bomb transforms it. The bomb is actually quite firm, like refrigerated butter and adding the whole thing would be too much to the soup so we slice off a little bit and add it to the hot soup where it dissolves and adds a lovely aroma and flavour, much like that of a Japanese curry. Whilst the ramen has a good texture, there isn't a great deal of soup in either bowl.
Tomato Tonkotsu Ramen $12
We then try the tomato tonkotsu ramen noodles which has fried shallots and pieces of tomato throughout the ramen. To this, we add the chilli bomb and it's a hot little bomb and I definitely wouldn't recommend adding the entire thing into the soup as directed because there isn't a lot of soup and it is very hot. And whilst we enjoyed both ramens, we really did like the flavour additions of both the curry and chilli bombs and both warmed us up to toasty proportions.
So tell me Dear Reader, can you finish an entire bowl of ramen? And have you ever considered doing one of those ramen or food eating challenges?
211/25-29 Dixon St, Haymarket NSW 2000
Tel: +61 0410 253 180
Open Sunday to Monday 11:30-8:30pm, Tuesday to Saturday 11:30-9pm