We’ve just finished our morning with the Grower’s Markets and stomachs are telling us it’s lunch time. Though it is a sunny morning, it is winter after all and I am craving for something soupy and slurpy. It was still early and what better way to get a ramen fix by going down to our local, Ryo’s. I had always been a big fan of Ryo’s but the queues are constantly out the door as the restaurant seats 20 or so diners a time. Since it was still early, I thought we could be one of the first ones there as the doors opened. We arrived at a little before midday but to my dismay there was around 12-15 people already lining up.
“Excuse me? Are you waiting for this place?” a passer-by tapped me on the shoulder as we were in the queue
“What is so good about it? Every time I drive past here, there are always lines! I say to my husband this place must be good as people are always waiting.”
I tried to explain to her the love with Ryo’s, how the noodles are fresh and chewy not soft and gluggy, how the soup is a rich pork bone stock, how the roast pork has a balance of fat and meat. I tried but I suggested she should come here one day, wait and try herself to see why everyone in Sydney is coming across the bridge to get their hands on a bowl of Ryo’s. 5 minutes later, 3 Italian boys cross the road with a piece of paper in their hands with what looks like handwritten instructions in how to get to Ryo’s. They were amazed at the queue and went into the restaurant and asked if they do takeaway instead. They walk out seconds later disappointed and walked back to their car.
10 minutes later Ryo-san walked out the door and took note how many people are lining up, few seconds later we were seated along the bar. We ordered straight away and I noticed they had a new menu item of Roast Pork mayo sandwich and they had it for takeaway (yes I ordered it in the name of blogging…things I do!) I had the sandwich the next day for lunch and the mayo was mixed in with the pork which made the pork neck more luscious and creamy.
Not long after our noodles arrive and I immediately dig into the red, creamy looking soup. The soup had a real thick, gelatinous flavour with just the right level of spiciness. The noodles were cooked to the Japanese version of al dente being soft, springy and chewy. My piece of pork had just a little bit too much fat more me today but that’s ok, it just means more room in my stomach for the roast pork rice ball. They used to only do 20 servings a day but I guess they soon realised that this is a sort after dish. The rice ball itself is nearly the size of a tennis ball and what is different about this rice ball compared to others I have had in Japan is that the roast pork is diced up and mixed in with the rice along with sesame seeds, rather than having the meat in the middle of the rice ball. This I find, provides more flavour.
Mr Dough’s noodles was a contrast to mine, it was a creamy and milky in colour. The noodles which accompanied Mr Dough’s soup was thin, white and non-curly. This is a distinct feature of Hakata ramen from Fukokoa in Kyushu. He ordered a side of soy sauce flavoured egg and this is one of the few places in Sydney where I can have a soft boiled egg where the yolk is half cooked.
We rolled out, clutching our stomachs and the line was past the driveway of the motor repair shop next door and it’s not even 1pm.
For you lucky Hong Kong siders, Ryo’s have opened a shop in Central in April. They have the same menu and provide a great ramen fix for those expats who are missing Sydney! Look for the bright orange decor!
125 Falcon St
Crows Nest 2065 NSW
Phone: +61 (02) 9955 0225
Thu-Tue noon-2.30pm, 5pm-9.30pm
Ryo’s Noodles (Hong Kong)
15 Hillier St, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong (MTR exit A2)
Opening daily :
12:00pm – 4:00pm (last order 3:30pm)
6:00pm – 10:30pm (last order 10:00pm)