Soccer icon David Beckham, music superstar Ed Sheeran and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey are just some of the celebrity fans of Tokyo’s Wagyumafia, which shot to fame for creating what’s been dubbed the world’s most expensive beef chateaubriand sandwich (it costs around US$180), and for its focus on premium-quality Japanese Wagyu.
While there are plans to eventually bring Wagyumafia to Australia (it also has a Hong Kong iteration, though most of its eateries are open only to members), co-owner Hisato Hamada – who lived in Sydney between the ages of five and nine – is introducing the restaurant’s sister ramen brand Mashi No Mashi to The Star in Sydney first. It’ll be the Wagyumafia group’s first step into the southern hemisphere.
“Even though I love the city, my memories of it are very old so I need to test the market first. I wanted to bring something that was approachable for everybody and ramen is my everyday thing,” he tells Broadsheet.
But while most ramen joints in Sydney hero pork and chicken, Mashi No Mashi (Japanese for “eat more and more”) will be devoted to showcasing Ozaki beef from Japan, a premium Wagyu cultivated from cattle raised on a single farm, owned and managed by Hamada’s dear friend Muneharu Ozaki, in Miyazaki Prefecture.
The signature Wagyujiro ramen is prepared with rich Ozaki beef bone stock imported from Japan. The stock is simmered for 24 hours before being reduced to a creamy concentrate that’s both umami-heavy and sweet. The generous bowl of house-made noodles comes with thick slices of Wagyu that have been stewed for eight hours until tender, and it’s topped with fresh bean sprouts, bamboo shoots and minced garlic.
“You always see ramen with pork broth, chicken broth and a little bit of Wagyu on the top. But my version – everything from the stock to the meat – is 100 per cent Wagyu,” says Hamada.
The only way to eat ramen, according to Hamada, is to “slurp like a boss”. “You have to slurp it, because you get the right amount of soup when you’re sucking it up and it’s the perfect marriage with the texture of the noodles. If you use a spoon, you’ll have excessive soup volume in your mouth, so you can’t really taste the purity of the flavour,” he says.
Other dishes will include Mashi No Mashi’s signature plump handmade Ozaki Wagyu gyoza, plus new items specifically made for Sydney. Hamada says these will include spring rolls and dim sims. “We’ll try to also create seafood items, such as sea urchin ramen and cheese ramen, but right now I want to start slow.”
The eatery will also be serving its own canned whisky highballs, house-brewed sake and vino from Hamada’s private collection of Italian wine.
The 50-seater will be Mashi No Mashi’s biggest space yet, featuring a mix of stool seating at the ramen bar and tables in the main dining space. It’ll also be pumping out tunes all day long so it feels like a house party.
“I want to change the definition of going to eat ramen. If you don’t want to use the stools, you can take them away, stand up and slurp like a boss and dance. That’s the vibe I want to create. It’s a party ramen house.”
Mashi No Mashi is slated to open at The Star in May 2022.