Gumshara is willdly, deservedly popular for their Japanese thick rich, porky tonkotsu ramen.
[Last updated September 2012]
This stuff is so thick and rich we sometimes struggle to get through a bowl. In all our ramen adventures, including three eating trips to Japan, we've never stumbled upon a ramen this hardcore. Check out Grabyourfork's post to see how much love and swine goes into Gumshara's tonkotsu broth.
After a few visits we never quite got to falling in love with Gumahsara's ramen, even when we were drunk. We could appreciate it but the spark just wasn't there. Then we tried the tonkotsu's sister, the shouyu ramen. It was love at first bite. The shouyu ramen has a lighter, fish based broth that is strong in flavour but doesn't overpower. Finally, after many ramens and a couple of years, we finally fell in love with Gumshara.
In Japan good ramen comes from joints that specialise in it, just like Gumshara does.
Extras including soft boiled googies, just like in Japan. If only we could order via vending machine...
Tonkotsu ramen $9.50 + $1.50 for the egg. Superb value. The noodles are excellent and the soft-boiled googy eggs are sensational. How do they cook those soft boiled eggs? The broth is thick, rich and very porky, it's a bit hardcore for me. I do love tonkotsu, I was once quite obsessed with the stuff, but my personal preference is for a thinner, lighter broth.
Fresh pickled ginger and garlic, yum.
We are so intrigued by Gumshara that we come back the next day. I try the Hakata ramen which is a milder version of the tonkotsu, though it is still very thick and rich.
The sign says if you would like your broth less thick and rich you can ask for a fluid top up so I did. The chef pours some mystery fluid from his magic pot. It is thinner yet still hearty.
Miss Chicken opts for the miso ramen on her second visit. She is absolutely over the moon about this one: lots of veggies, the broth is hearty and not overly 'miso' as some versions of this soup can be. The noodles are outstanding we must say.
BACK AGAIN OCTOBER 2011...
Back again in October 2011 and Shawn mans up for the famously heavy pork rib soup. It comes with a huge piece of of delicious, fatty pork and the broth is thick, rich and heavy he can't finish it. It's like eating a bowl of pork gravy. Folks go nuts over this but it's too much for us.
Alison tries the hakata again, it's the lighter tonkotsu option but still rich and heavy.
BACK AGAIN AUGUST 2012...
Mr Shawn has been meaning to try the roast pork with rice bowl ($9) for quite some time. Thin slices of rich, salty beef on a big bowl of plain rice. At the bottom of the bowl there's a surprise: a lovely softboiled googie egg and some slithers of salty braised(?) pork. All that rich salty pork with mayo on top makes for quite a rich and substantial feed.
The pork rice bowl comes with a small bowl of soup, which is broth from Gumshara's famous ramen: it's thick and rich. If you're not a ramen fan then this pork bowl is a good way to try the Gumasha experience, sans noodles.
Just when he though Gumshara wasn't for him, Mr Shawn tries the Shouyu Ramen ($13) and falls in food love. Never before has a ramen taken him back to Japan like this one, it's perfect. The broth is fish based rather than pork based like the tonkotsu ramen, it's a lot lighter and has a lovely, fishy-seaweedy tang to it. There were giggles of excited while devouring this. Awesome. Absolutely awesome.
I've been eating in Eating World for fifteen years now. It lost some of its dodgey charms when they spruced it up a while ago, but it is still my favourite Chinatown food court, if only out of nostalgia. The vendors come and go but there is always good, cheap food here. And it's an amazing people-watching place.
How could you not love a place called 'Eating World'? 25-29 Dixon Street, Chinatown, at the top of the mall. Open daily 10am-10pm.