Thirty kilograms of flour a day. That’s what it takes to feed the cultish masses queued at Nao. In an age where suppliers of noodle, soup and trimmings abound, owner Naoki Kobayashi insists on making his own ramen, just as he did when his eponymous shop opened in 2003.
Into a blend of Australian flours goes eggs, water and salt to make dough that is meticulously pressed, rolled and cut into skeins of noodles. It’s a mesmerising process.
Like the noodles, almost everything that goes into each bowl is made in-house. The streaky chashu pork melts in the mouth and the braised bamboo shoots are sweet and chewy. The soup is a blend of pork and chicken broths, combined to make an unctuous, silky soup with hints of garlic and ginger.
With four types of soup – shio, shoyu, miso and spicy miso – and three types of flavoured noodles plus extra toppings such as corn, butter and spicy minced pork, you can customise to your heart’s content.
Being just a sliver of a shop, Nao is an eat-and-run situation, but if you’d like to linger, aim for post-lunch hours.