Lovers of the silky broth, unite! Backyard Opera has been slurping down barrelfuls of Japan’s number one soup on a never ending search for that perfect combination of salty, sweet and umami flavours. While a list such as this may perhaps never be final, in the spirit of constant improvement, or kaizen as it’s known in the land of the rising sun, we’ve selected our current favourites to guide others on this never-ending journey.
Ichi Ban Boshi
The original, the OG, where it all began, Ichi Ban Boshi was one of the first of the modern wave of ramen restaurants in Sydney. Still operating at its two locations, one in the CBD and one in Bondi Junction, the masters behind the bowl have been consistent in their dedication to ramen. After last year’s renovation of their Galleries venue, there’s more than enough reason to go back for another bowl of classic ramen flavours.
Mon – Sun, 11am-9pm
Level 2, The Galeries, 500 George Street, Sydney &
Shop 1, 171-173 Oxford St, Bondi Junction
Ramen Bar Goku
For those who may have briefly stopped at Menya Ramen in the CBD, Ramen Bar Goku is the Glebe offshoot of the busy city store. With more space and a more relaxed interior, the Glebe location allows for diners to enjoy each mouthful and perhaps linger over one of the unique baos or drink from the fully licenced restaurant. The casual décor still suits a weekday dinner or allows some respite from the business of nearby Glebe Markets on a Saturday.
Lunch: Tue – Sun, 11.30am – 2.30pm
Dinner: Tue, Wed, Sun, 5.30 - 9pm
Thu, Fri, Sat, 5:30 - 9:30pm
30 Glebe Point Road, Glebe
Another strong, non CBD contender for the title of best ramen in Sydney is Manupuku, located in Chatswood and Kingsford. Not only are the standard shio, miso and shoyu broths available here, but a blended chicken and pork base is the foundation for the restaurant’s signature dish. The innovation does not end there, Manpuku offers a yuzu flavoured ramen which has a discernible citrus tang. Also worth going for is the tsukumen ramen, where noodles are served separate and dipped in the ramen sauce.
Tue – Sun, 11am-9.30pm
482 Anzac Parade, Kingsford &
Mon – Sun, 11.30am-9pm
226 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood
Stepping up the ramen setting is Gogyo. From the Ippudo group, who also run a number of self-titled stores in major shopping centres in Sydney, Gogyo in Surry Hills is ramen with class. The exposed grey concrete and pale wood furniture resemble the interior of a fine diner, and the large bar serves up a drinks list you’ll want to keep exploring. But before we get ahead of ourselves, we’re here for the ramen. Gogyo uses kogashi-style technique to char the base flavour for a smokier finish that leads to a unique taste and aroma.
Monday – Friday: 12pm-3pm, 5.30-10pm
Saturday: 11.30am-3pm, 5.30-10pm
Sunday: 11.30am-3pm, 5-8.30pm
52-54 Albion St, Surry Hills
Rising Sun Workshop
Riders of the ramen wave, Rising Sun Workshop began life as a community space for working on motorcycles but has evolved into a café, bar and unmissable stop on any ramen tour of Sydney. Slurp on ramen by chef and co-owner Nick Smith while others tinker away in the workshop. Only available during lunch hours from 12-3.30pm, the three styles of ramen involve Bannockburn chicken, organic pork bones and Kurobuta pork belly, unless you’re after The Monk which is a vegetarian concoction of miso, mushrooms and roasted veg.
Mon – Sun, 8am-4pm
1c Whateley Street, Newtown