One of the things that bring happiness to the Ramen Raff household is the power of tonkotsu ramen. It's our ramen of choice and a dish close to our hearts. It is also the dish that gave life to this blog. We feel strongly about the quote "no ramen, no life" and so does the new Yasaka Ramen.
This latest addition to the Sydney ramen scene is located on Pitt Street in the CBD. It's a modern ramen bar with an industrial fit out. You can sit by the bar area and watch the kitchen like a culinary stage show. The dining area upstairs has more of a chillax vibe with tables for two and groups of four to six available. The menu mainly consists of tonkotsu (pork bone) broth based ramen, takoyaki, some popular Japanese snacks and beverages.
|Chef Takeshi Sekigawa|
I've been eyeing this place in the last two weeks. But it's a blog post from Chocolatesuze that convinced me to check them out as soon as possible. On my first visit, I was so stoked to find that Yasaka's head Chef is Takeshi Sekigawa who I knew back from his Gumshara days. Takeshi-san worked at the renowned Gumshara Ramen under the tutelage of Chef Mori Higashida. He worked there for a while as Mori-san's apprentice before taking up his head chef gig here at Yasaka. Having that in mind, I knew I was in for a treat!
|Grilled chashu ramen in shoyu tonkotsu broth|
The first bowl of ramen I tried was the grilled chashu ramen with shoyu tonkotsu broth ($14.80). Amongst the toppings were bamboo shoots, nori, chopped spring onions and chashu. The housemade noodles were perfectly cooked and were firm to the bite. The broth was rich with an amazing robust pork flavour. It's not gravy like but definitely thicker than most tonkotsu broths. The addition of soy sauce (special blended soy sauce paste is used here) is a classic finishing touch to most tonkotsu broths. Adding shoyu to the broth gave the flavour more depth and complexity. The flavoursome chashu was astonishingly "melt in your mouth" tender! The slices of meat were lightly grilled for extra caramelised meat flavour with a blow torch just before they were served. The hanjuku tamago or Japanese style soft boiled egg (extra $2) was perfect with its velvety molten-like runny yolk and a softly set egg white.
Their iced green tea latte ($4.50) was an absolute treat. It was milky and sweet with nice amount (but not overpowering) of earthy matcha flavour.
On my second visit, I opted for a kakuni ramen with shio tonkotsu broth ($17.80). The toppings inluded were nori, bamboo shoots, spring onion, fungus and a slab of soft bone pork ($2 extra for soft boiled egg). Sea salt is added to the rich lip smackin' tonkotsu broth. They have adjusted the broth this time around and have given it a thicker consistency. The salt enhances the flavour without making it too intense. The sweet kakuni pork was incredibly tender that the meat starts to fall apart as soon as it is lifted from the broth.
|Takoyaki with special sweet sauce|
I also got to try their takoyaki with special sweet sauce (4 balls for $6 and 8 balls for $10). These croquette-like morsels had a nice crisped shell that's complimented by a special syrupy sweet sauce. It had flavoursome mushy innards with perfectly cooked octopus meat. As the menu description says, "once you've tried it, you will love it. I totally agree!
Chef Takeshi's personal twist to his ramen preparation, tonkotsu broth and toppings are quite remarkable. His precision and technique is reflected in each bowl of ramen. Their in-house made noodles and awesome pork toppings are exceptional! Yasaka Ramen will be another force to be reckoned with in the Sydney ramen scene.
126 Liverpool St, Sydney NSW 2000
Monday to Sunday 11:30 am to 3:00 pm then 5:00pm to 10:00pm
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/yasakaramen