In my opinion, ramen is one of the quintessential foods from the past of any pre-adult Japanese and/or anime culture lover’s repertoire of ‘best foods ever’ along with cute handmade bentos, ramune and sushi. As the burger is to the Americans. Ramen is to the Japanese.
Gumshara – 211/25-29 Dixon St Haymarket NSW 2000
Open Mon 11:30AM-8:30PM | Tues – Sat 11:30AM-9:00PM | Sun 11:30AM-8:30PM
Gumshara, like all over-shared social media eat out spots, has been touted to have the best in Sydney. Heck they’ve even won Sydney’s Food Bloggers Choice Awards in 2013! Now I wonder who won it in 2014?
I have nothing to say about the decor, atmosphere or whatever of Gumshara as it’s in a food court. They have a shop and they have common cafeteria seating for everyone. Basically it’s the eat your food and go type of places which isn’t really a bad thing for me most of the time.
From the large banner menu we ordered the 06 Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen and 08 Tomato Tonkotsu Ramen which looked glorious when they arrived at the table (via my other half not by their servers). The garlic ramen soup, in particular, was glistening and thick almost like a gravy or curry consistency.
As we began our meal I tasted the slice of pork first. It was incredibly soft and the fatty parts just melted in your mouth. It was starting out great but when I tasted the broth and noodles I realised I had made a terrible mistake.
I didn’t like my garlic ramen and turns out my other half only ‘kind of’ liked his tomato ramen. I remember us sitting there contemplating on why we felt like the only ones that didn’t seem to like the ramen at this place. Did we just have sucky taste buds? Was the original chef sick that day so someone else stepped in? Or is this ramen some acquired taste addiction that you can’t shake off and eventually write a great review about? Because I couldn’t fathom the taste of the broth.
It was bitter and mainly tasteless because it seemed as if there was little to no salt in the broth.
I looked up to see a sign at their shop front that said ‘If the soup is too thick or salty we will adjust it for you.’ How will they adjust it with my situation? It wasn’t salty at all!
Now, you may think it’s I probably eat a lot of salty stuff so my palate thinks this level of salt is weak but not at all. I prefer more simple and gentle tastes so if this is bland to me I can’t image how it’d taste to someone who’d like it saltier.
When we asked our server to add salt into the ramen (I wasn’t asking for MSG from a no MSG place) she just pointed us to the soy sauce so that’s exactly what I used. And a lot of it. It didn’t make a dent to the taste of my ramen so I ended up not finishing it.
Store: 6/10 the shop front and seating was generic but functional enough to eat at – nothing too fancy
Menu: 7/10 I like their large menu with giant pictures for us to look at and make a decision on the dishes we wanted and the amount of items on the menu was just enough
Waiting time: 7.5/10 from the time we ordered it arrived in maybe 10 or 15 minutes so was relatively speedy
Servers: 7.5-8/10 the server was helpful and patient at first but didn’t seem to know what to do about the situation of not having enough salt in the soup – kind of last resort mentioning that they had soy sauce
Value for money: 6.5-7/10 the value we got out our meal was depending on how you saw it – the amount was great but we didn’t like the taste so it didn’t fill us up
Taste: 4.5-5.5/10 this was amongst the disappointing ramen experiences I’ve had because just as one ramen can be bad with too much salt, this ramen is without salt and with a soup base that seemed to be a portal allowing little taste alteration from the soy sauce we dumped into it
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