Today I was craving noodles something fierce. This is hardly surprising. On the list of things that I often crave, noodles are up there with things like "booze", "human attention" and "for the tears to stop". Also not surprising was that when I felt the craving humming in my stomach, my attention switched to a familiar tiny ramen stall in Chinatown.
Gumshara is an astonishing place, if only for the fact that I think everyone on the planet agrees that the tonkatsu ramen there is the best in the CBD, if not the country. Yes, it's that.fucking.good.
It has a bit of a soup nazi feel to it. It's hidden in a food court that you'd find hard to stumble upon (despite it being so close to Dixon St). You walk up to the counter, usually after queueing for a couple of minutes (during which time you watch the one or two guys in the kitchen going about their business), you ask the lady for the tonkatsu ramen and you ask her for the soft boiled egg. You wait for a few minutes, they call your number (even though you KNOW that bowl is yours), you lurch forward and collect the tray, and then you find a seat, weaving between other people carrying ramen or stir fries or Hainan chicken rice.
Not since I dabbled in catholicism as a child have I had that feeling of being surrounded by people that follow the same rituals; the same movements. The people there for the first time stick out, until they (quickly) learn the motions.
All of a sudden you aren't aware of anything around you. Your eyes are wide but you see nothing but what's in front of you.
You can taste it all separately. The noodles. The sheet of seaweed. The soft boiled egg. The mushrooms. The spring onions. And... the broth... A pork broth so thick and heady that it leaves your lips sticky, your head light, your stomach heated through and your tastes buds sate like they've never been sate before. You just got flavourfucked.
Sure you could have gone for something else like the garlic tonkatsu or the shoyu ramen. But nothing comes to the tonkatsu. Nothing except for the next time you head to Gumshara. Thankfully, that will happen more often that you think is reasonable. Because it's that craving. It's such a specific craving; a craving that can't be killed off by any other bowl of tonkatsu ramen.
RATING: Will constantly return to [?]