Need to do a motorbike repair and slurp on a bowl of ramen? A little laneway in the back streets of Newtown is where you will find Rising Sun Workshop. With ramen and burgers by day and other food by night it is a hidden away secret.
Once a month I cook lunch for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre and after we serve lunch, we often go out to Newtown or Enmore to have lunch. It was a hot 30C/86F day, not exactly the best weather for ramen but nevertheless I brought along Nat, Kate and Sarah. Rising Sun Workshop started as a crowd funded business where people can tinker with their motorcycles. The cafe and retail space add a profitable arm to help sustain the business.
There are boutique supplier products for sale and a small eat in section downstairs while the main dining area is upstairs. I also love the sound of the food at night a bit better and earmark it to go back at a later time although there never seems to be enough time to do that.
"I don't know how to tell you this, but it's my first time eating ramen," says Nat. With such a statement, I suggest we order one of the light and dark ramens on offer so she can try both.
We start with "the light" ramen. The dark and light ramens at first look very similar but the difference lies in the broth. The "Light" broth is one made with Bannockburn chicken and super dashi with a distinctly fishy taste. Usually you would see a ramen's tarè or the flavour profile as shio, soy or miso. This ramen's tarè is smoked salt, ginger, apple, onion and garlic. It is topped with a fat slice of Kurobuta pork belly, greens, marinated mushroom, bamboo, egg, green onion and nori. The pork belly is nice but it is hard to eat without a knife as you just end up picking it up with chopsticks and nibbling at it but the mushrooms and other additions make it tasty.
Out of the two ramens, we both prefer the "darkness" with its more intensely flavoured, smokey broth made with Bannockburn chickens, organic pork bones, shiitake and smoked hocks. The tarè is shoyu, mirin, sake and it is topped with Kurobuta pork belly, black fungus, mushroom, bamboo, egg, blackened onions and nori. And try as we might we can't finish it no matter how much we want to.
The gyozas are a little too charred for my liking which means that they aren't quite as juicy on the inside.
It's a lazy Friday so Nat and I don't feel like we are in any rush to go back home. Kate and Sarah have to dash but Nat and I pull up a chair in the downstairs area and order cake and tea because honestly what is life about if not stopping on a Friday afternoon to have cake and tea?
The honey soaked chai is a house made Assam tea and spices soaked in honey and it is creamy and milky with a strong sweetness to it from the honey. And the Persian love cake is really the perfect match in terms of spices as it is redolent in warming, fragrant spices like ginger and cinnamon. And this is really how all weekends should start, with ramen, tea and cake and then Friday night...
So tell me Dear Reader, what is life about to you? That's a surprisingly deep question I know, but what small things give you the greatest pleasures?
This meal was independently paid for.
Rising Sun Workshop
1C Whateley St, Newtown NSW 2042
Monday, Tuesday & Sunday 8am–4pm
Wednesday to Saturday 8am–10pm
Phone: (02) 9550 3891