There is no bowl of ramen like Yakuza‘s.
About a week ago, Xbox Australia announced probably the most delicious promotion for a next-generation game: Rags to Riches, a $ 400 bowl of ramen with a golden lobster. It was a tie for the western launch of Yakuza: like a dragon, which will be released along with the Xbox Series X / S consoles on November 12 (with launch on PS5 in March 2021).
We haven’t done a local Snacktaku in a while – COVID hasn’t helped – so when the opportunity to try one $ 400 bowl of ramen, it was the perfect time to bring him back. But it is unreasonable for a person to finish an entire lobster and a broth made with 10 kg of pork bone and 5 kg of lobster heads, so I enlisted some help.
Alex Walker, Kotaku Australia Editor: Most people would not have eaten anything like the Yakuza: like a dragon Rags to Riches bowl that we like. Have you ever eaten a whole golden lobster, Tegan?
Tegan Jones, Gizmodo Australia Editor: I couldn’t agree more, and not just because of the gold leaf!
I think it could be very easy to assume that it would be good because of the presence of the lobster. But it went far beyond that. Of course, the lobster was great. In fact, it was the best I’ve ever eaten – juicy, buttery, delicious. But honestly, the biggest hero was the broth.
The owner and chef revealed that it was made from an 11-year-old stock master that was used for the restaurant’s ramen the entire time it was open. That was super special for me. As one of our companions, said Fergus Halliday, it was like eating history.
Alex: Absolutely. I mean, on the one hand, there are only two real bowls of the material being made. This is incredibly rare and special. Gumshara’s chief chef Mori Higashida explained that he had the idea of making lobster ramen almost a decade ago, but the opportunity never came. So when the team working on Yakuza: like a dragon came around and wanted something appropriately extra, I mean … nori gold leaf? Over 15 pounds of pork and lobster? The fact that the master stock is used So often that they boil two hundred kilograms fresh pork bones every week?
No wonder he is so incredibly rich. To give readers a more tactile feel, I ask you to imagine making a big pork roast. Take that huge and juicy piece of meat and imagine the drops, pieces of meat, that wonderful candy that fills the bottom of the pan.
Now imagine that this turned into a thick, deep brown liquor that turned into a bowl of ramen. And this is what is most amazing: the bowl starts with a relatively normal thick tonkatsu color. As you go through the plate, it changes to a color almost similar to a gumbo. It is unreal.
Tegan: Stoooooop now I’m hungry for more. But honestly, you got it right. Of course, in this case, the broth was impregnated with a wonderful lobster flavor as well, but I imagine that the ordinary ramen you get with Gumshara would be similar in terms of richness. I will certainly be back to find out.
It thickened in real time – the later we get to the bowl, the richer and thicker it gets. It also meant that he coated the pasta beautifully, almost clinging to them. They worked together in harmony, instead of separate entities.
Alex: And that’s probably one of the most unusual features – I’m not used to a broth getting richer and thicker as you eat it. I’m also not used to having so many people watching while I drink pasta.
But this is inevitable in Gumshara; it’s located in one of Sydney Chinatown’s oldest food courts – a place I used to go a lot when I was a kid, interestingly – and there is no pomp and circumstance. You go there to have delicious, stripped, good food. It also turns out that a chef there is talented enough to make some of Sydney’s best ramen, and a $ 400 bowl yet.
Another thing that comes to mind: chives. They are standard on all ramens, of course, but what was so fascinating about the Yakuza bowl was the amount of freshness it provided against the richness of the broth. Chives in most Australian bowls of ramen are really more for texture; they give you something to chew on. The broth is never so thick or viscous that chives provide a genuine contrast, but here they were absolutely essential to cut the fat from the meat.
To be honest, I could have picked more chives. This is not a blow to ramen – it is so unusual to have a bowl of ramen where chives have such an impact.
Tegan: I totally agree, the chives added some freshness and sweetness that cut the richness of the broth beautifully.
I am also a big fan of the Eating World food court. I truly believe that the best food in any city is not found in the most chic or expensive restaurants. The best meals of my life have always been hidden in nooks and crannies. In alleys, squeezed between two other businesses, and even in food courts. My philosophy is if a ton of residents are there, it’s probably very good. That’s how we approached Japan when traveling was still one thing, and the same can be said of Gumshara.
Of course, in this case it was an expensive dish, but the normal ramen looks just as tasty, even without the giant golden lobster.
If you live in Sydney – or can somehow reach Gumshara for a $ 400 bowl of ramen – you can enter the Yakuza: like a dragon Rags to Riches competition through Xbox Australia Twitter account. If you can’t, but can still get to Gumshara, you must – the pork rib ramen is highly recommended.
As for Yakuza: like a dragon itself, it will be released on Xbox Series X / S, Xbox, PC and PS4 on November 10, with a PS5 version scheduled for March 2, 2021.