Sokyo Ramen Pop Up, Pyrmont

I’m always in a state of wanderlust.

I dream of watching the cricket at Lords in London.

I want to play high stakes poker in Macau.

I can visualise downloading torrents at 2,000mb per second in a seedy internet cafe in Seoul.

I taste the buttery croissants served to me from a nice French girl in Paris.

Oh and I hear the slurping of delicious ramen noodles in Sokyo.

And no, that was not a typo.

Let’s have some ramen at the Sokyo Ramen Pop Up:

Sokyo Ramen Pop Up

Chase Kojima, the mastermind behind one of my favourite restaurants, has decided to take up residence in the food court of the Star for the next three months (September-December) and serve his own unique take on ramen. Alongside Chase’s ramen will be some snacks, drinks as well as blackjack being a short stroll away.

Let’s roll the dice with some starters:

sokyo ramen fried chicken
Mai-san’s fried chicken with yuzu & mixed green salad

To all cafe and restaurant owners who have accidentally clicked on iFat because you thought I was a reputable food blog (hah), take this knowledge away with you. If your menu has fried chicken on it, I will, I will, order it (boom boom clap). No one can dis-karrage me from that.

Served with a side of green salad dressed in yuzu (more on you later), its lightly battered and the chicken is quite juicy. Accompanying chilli mayo gives it a slight boost in flavour like every time Drake jumps on a decent song and turns into a radio hit.

Let’s continuing running through the six with my bowls:

sokyo shio yuzu ramen
Yuzu Shio ramen with chicken and katsuobushi dashi, yuzu and mixed green salad, pork cheek chashu, egg and nori

All bowls of ramen served by Chase and his crew have some common denominators. All come with a soy infused egg, seaweed with hints of yuzu and the same type of noodles. Common consensus is that the noodles are delicious if a bit on the soft side. I’d suggest asking them to be prepared a little firmer. On the flip side, if you’re like my Dad and prefer your rice to be on the “no need to chew, just swallow side” then you’re in luck!

Ok, let’s get back to that yuzu salad. The actual broth in this bowl of ramen contains no hints of yuzu whatsoever. The source of the trademark yuzu tang is found soaked into the greenery and it is quite nice.

The tang is definitely something you won’t find in most bowls of ramen but why be like everyone else when you’re a strong independent bowl of yuzu shio ramen that doesn’t feel the need to be like the rest of them?

sokyo shoyu ramen
Kyoto Shoyu Ramen with chicken dashi, pork backfat, soy sauce kaeshi, pork cheek chashu, bean sprouts, egg and nori

There’s one more thing that all of Sokyo’s ramen offerings have in common, they all contain a couple of slices of pork chashu (except for the miso tantanmen which minces it up instead). Instead of using pork belly, the Sokyo squad have opted for pork cheek which is a masterstroke. The fattiness that everyone loves in pork belly is still in play but its more spread out as opposed to being concentrated in one layer.

Oh right, we’re on to a new bowl. Let me shoyu what it’s all about.

It’s quite light and the soy flavour is quite strong. The flavour of the seasoned bamboo seeped into the broth which I quite enjoyed.

No (bam)boos from this end of the table.

sokyo miso tantanmen
Spicy Miso Tantanmen with pork and seafood dashi, spicy miso butter, pork cheek chashu, marinated egg, nori, shallots and black fungi

Tangent: I overheard a disappointed customer during my second visit to Sokyo’s ramen stall. They were complaining to their friend about how there was no pho in the menu. Let’s just say my gast was flabbered; it’s like people who think Tinder is for meeting people when it’s actually for meating people.

Let’s move on to something mi-so happy to discuss: the miso tantanmen.

I’m generally not a huge fan of miso based broth and although this was good, it didn’t reinvent the wheel or change my palate. The broccolini was awesome as were all of the other common denominators but my stubborn tastebuds refused to relent on an opinion that has been built up over the years.

It’s like how my sister absolutely hates anyone named “Daniel” because of the one Daniel that broke up with her citing the fact that he had to leave the country soon. Trouble is, she saw him the following week having not left Australia’s shores at all. Let’s just say Boyz II Men’s “End of the Road” was on repeat for quite sometime in my household after tht saga.

Gyokairui Tonkotsu Ramen with pork, chicken & seafood daishi, pork cheek chashu, egg, nori, shallots and black funus
Gyokairui Tonkotsu Ramen with pork, chicken & seafood dashi, pork cheek chashu, egg, nori, shallots and black fungus

Sorry NFL, but this is a real superbowl.

This was my favourite variation by a long shot.

All the toppings are at their prime swimming in this particular bowl of dashi. The pork is tastier, the mushrooms are more delectable and even the egg seems gooier.

There was a pleasant sweetness to the dashi. No, I don’t think gummy bears were dropped into the broth, but the chicken element of the dashi definitely made its presence known. The broth was also of a medium thickness which I personally prefer, think microwaved gravy.

Speaking of, I’d be happy if this was the last meal I had before I was buried in my grave-y.

Heh.

Sokyo Ramen Pop Up

Here’s the TL;DR that are mad about me not using any ramen puns at all:

– I’m not much of a ramen-tic, but I feel like this is a pretty solid date spot. If she doesn’t like ramen, you can just drink and gamble your sorrows away

– Please get the chicken and tonkotsu. Then proceed to start c-ramen them all into your mouth before whoever your with realises how delicious your choices are.

– Do you guys ramen-ber I’m Still Hungry’s best ramen in Sydney post? Yeah, he’s going to have to add Sokyo to the list.

***

Sokyo Ramen, Pyrmont

Ground Level of the Cafe Court (inside the Star)

80 Pyrmont Street

Opening Hours:

Sunday – Monday: 11:30 – 9:00

Tuesday – Thursday: 11:30 – 10:00

Friday – Saturday: 11:30 – 11:00

Sokyo Restaurant - The Darling at the Star Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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