Gumshara, 13 March 2010

Picture this: two guys dressed in suits and two girls in cocktail dresses (one in heels, the other sensibly changed into flats) walking through a food court full of people in Chinatown. The party of four avoid slippery floor surfaces and dodge people carrying trays of steaming hot food looking for seats in order to prevent dirtying their outfits. A few inquisitive looks are garnered here and there but, for the most part, people are too busy eating to care. It is past 3:30pm and the food court is still unusually full.

We are at Eating World Food Court, home of the famed collagen-rich ramen broth that is Gumshara. Each pot of broth is made from 120kg of fresh pork bones and water, and requires seven days of cooking to break down the marrow and tendons to release the collagen within. We have time to kill between a wedding ceremony and reception and haven’t had any lunch yet. The location is a slightly odd choice given our attire but we are all keen to try their ramen, especially Idol who lives outside of Sydney and who alerted me to this place to start with.

We start with some crispy-bottomed gyoza. The wrappers are thin and the dumplings are quite a long shape. I’m impressed with the juicy and plentiful contents with none of the loose gappiness when biting into some others.

By this late stage of the afternoon, Gumshara has sold out of its tonkotsu ramen so Idol and I both have the ‘Garlic tonkotsu ramen’ instead, to which I add a soft-centred egg for good measure. The soup is thick, rich, sticky and very warming. The ramen strands are coated individually by this soup and makes for a very filling meal. The pork slices are meltingly tender with their even striations of fat and turn out to be one of the lighter components of the meal. The garlic adds an earthy pungency and I love how there is a massive sheet of nori.

Monsieur Poisson goes for the ‘Tomato tonkotsu ramen’ which is swathed in a much thinner, tomato broth. The tangy tomato helps to cut through the rich collagen in the broth base and it is reassuring to see pulpy tomato pieces towards the bottom of the bowl. The pork is the same as in my bowl but there are a few pieces of baby bok choy to the side.

The soup really is as rich and gelatinous as people say and Gumshara definitely lives up to its reputation. What I was really surprised to find was how un-salty their soup base was. Don’t get me wrong, there is lots of concentrated flavour but just not the usual thirst-inducing saltiness associated with ramen from some other places. I actually slurped quite a few spoonfuls of both Monsieur Poisson’s and my soups, and that really is a refreshing change.

Shop 209, Lower Ground Level, Harbour Plaza, 25-29 Dixon St (Chinatown), Haymarket NSW
Tel: 0410 253 180

Opening Hours:  Mon  CLOSED
                        Tues-Sun  10am-10pm

Gumshara Ramen on Urbanspoon

happy eating!


  1. I love the bowl of noodles....and the topping of spring onions. And the dumplings look superb

  2. I can never eat a bowl of the tonkotsu ramen on my own, so maybe I'll try the tomato one next time. But always with a boiled egg, yum. And maybe a cocktail dress :)

  3. Yum ramen, it is always filling, wonderful for winter. Love the mass of spring onions

  4. Man, feel like a nice bowl of tonkotsu ramen right about now, to chase away the chills from my bones.

    The soft boiled egg is always a welcome addition, regardless of which ramen I end up ordering :)

  5. Gumshara is good. I would never have found it by myself, I needed the girlfriend to walk me to the counter. I found it really filling, I can't believe you ate it before a wedding reception. I would have no room for any more food.

  6. Ooh it's ramen weather most definitely! What about that cold change these past few days? Brrr! So tell me were you the one in the heels or did you change into flats! :D

  7. Oh Gumshara, haven't visited in tooooo long! The tomato sounds interesting but I still think original thick is the way to go

  8. I love this place - and the tomato (with soft boiled egg) is definitely my pick. Should've noted the opening times earlier though as I tried to go last Monday and was devastated to find it closed! Not the result I wanted on a freezing, rainy wintery day!

  9. i take my hat off to anyone that can finish a bowl from gumshara but it's too heavy for my liking :-)

  10. Your description of this soup just made me want to dive in and have a bowl.

  11. Hey Kitchen Butterfly, they're famed for their soup base here but I was pretty wowed by the gyoza as well.

    Hey Belle, heheh, it's definitely hard to finish when the soup is as sticky as it is here but the tomato version is a nice lighter alternative. Cocktail dress optional =p

    Hey Sara, oh yes, so good for winter! (And happy birthday, by the way.)

    Hey Simon, I'm always greedy and order egg or corn on the side as well.

    Hey Mark, we hadn't had any lunch and thought we were all gonna collapse if we were to wait until the wedding reception so...well, that's what we convinced ourselves anyway!

    Hey Lorriane, think the rain is settling in again as well. And I was the one in the heels - I've never thought to bring flats for the 'in-between' time at weddings!

    Hey Richard, I think I prefer the thick original soup too, and how it makes all the noodles stick together!

    Hey Forager, oh no, so what was your ramen substitute?

    Hey Simon, haha, it's definitely doable! Just depends on how hungry you are, I think.

    Hey WizzyTheStick, thanks for swinging by =) It's absolutely perfect for the weather we're having in Sydney of late.

  12. I am a Gumshara addict! Can't get enough of it :) Glad that you enjoyed it. I admit that I'm a fan of the original Tonkotsu, but the gyoza are great too.

  13. Hey aptronym, this is the weather for a return trip to Gumshara! Perhaps this time minus the cocktail dress and heels though =p


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