O-San Ramen is owned by Chef Kazuteru, who also opened five ramen shops in Japan and one in Cambodia. Ramen O-San specialises in Kyushu-style Tonkotsu ramen, which has won the 'Top 3 Ramen' award in Kyushu, Japan. The Sydney shop is actually the first that you would most likely to spot when you walk down the stairs from the main entrance into Dixon House Food Court. Since it's located inside a food court, don't expect any fancy setting especially when you find yourself accidentally sitting on a tray left on the chair. In terms of service, the staff seemed quite friendly and it didn't take long for the food to get ready after we made our order.
Similar to Gumshara, the pork bone broth in the tonkotsu ramen is MSG-free. Although our ramen came with pork cha-siu, spring onions and mushroom (depending what ramen you order), we had to order egg and nori separately at $1.50 extra. We both learnt it the hard way when I forgot my nori while KT forgot the egg. Oops...
Tonkotsu Ramen ($9.80) with Nori Seaweed ($1.50)
The original Tonkotsu (pork base) soup had a slightly similar texture to Gumshara's ramen broth. The pork bones were simmered for more than 10 hours so it was no surprise that there was that thick, creamy, collagen-like richness as you dig into the broth. However, it didn't have the same intense richness as Gumshara's so it was easier to finish in comparison. Plus the noodles were relatively thinner. While I didn't try much of it, KT commented that it was one of the more delicious ramens he has tried in Sydney so far.
Black Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen ($10.80) with Marinated Boiled Egg ($1.50)
The above could also be said for my black garlic Tonkotsu ramen. Was a bit bummed at my lack of nori so I got a piece from KT's bowl (seriously it's just not the same without the nori!). The broth was flavoursome though the garlic was not very strong compared to the Sumo Ramen that is also on the menu (yet to try at time of writing this review). Loved the thin and springy noodles and the thick slices of pork cha-siu in my bowl which worked well with the ramen broth. Gotta love that gooeyness from the egg yolk too.
There were many other dishes that we haven't tried at this joint including the intensely garlicky Sumo Ramen, Spicy Ramen, Chicken Soy Ramen and Seafood Tsuke-men so will certainly be making more visits in the near future. Compared to a few of the other ramen shops in the city, the prices were actually on the cheaper end even when you order the extra egg and nori. However if you can only handle light-broth ramen similar to Ippudo, this might not be the ideal place for you. Hopefully this joint will stay as long as possible to bring that much needed spark and even a bit of cheeky ramen competition back into Dixon House Food Court along with its old school charm.
DISCLAIMER: The Random Foodie dined as a guest of Ramen O-San, courtesy of SD Marketing and Washoku Lovers. Opinions are however, my own.
Shop B01, Dixon House Food Court
Cnr Dixon Street and Little Hay Street, Haymarket NSW 2000
Wed-Mon: 11:00am - 8:30pm