Umami Dojo

Monday
5:30pm - 9:00pm
48 Harris Street Pyrmont

Tucked away at the bay end of Harris Street, Umami Dojo is a cosy 16-seat ramen shop unlike anything else you’ll find in Sydney.

Where most ramen chefs emphasise cooking time and intensity in creating their broths, Umami Dojo co-owner Keiji Mizuno uses an additional, subtle step to impart maximum flavour and aroma to each made-to-order soup.

Here, it’s all about the dashi – a light, umami stock – which Mizuno prepares with various combinations of dried bonito, sardines, mackerel and kombu. Flavours are gently extracted per order using a glass coffee siphon, a method pioneered by Gyorai Ramen in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward. (To his knowledge, Mizuno says, there are only three ramen shops in Japan using the method, and he is the first to use it in Australia.) The resulting stock is added to a light soy- and chicken-based broth to create a delicate, complex soup.

It all looks rather theatrical, but Keiji says the flasks lining the kitchen counter aren’t just for show – the optimal temperature for working with dried fish is 85 to 90 degrees Celsius, and the siphon ensures consistent results.

Three types of ramen are presented simply – with sous-vide chicken or pork, seasoned bamboo and sliced shallots – to let the soup stand out. Sides include handmade gyoza (we love the Wagyu-filled number), karaage chicken with ponzu, plus a couple of desserts. To drink, there’s Japanese beer, sake and umeshu, plus a good list of wines.

Keiji opened the shop with his wife, Yumiko, in 2021. After re-evaluating their life during lockdown, the pair decided to pursue their love of ramen, with the goal of creating nostalgic soups using innovative techniques.

They run the store together – a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it timber shopfront with a traditional Japanese lantern hanging at the entrance. Service is contactless, which means you can access the menu using your phone and pay at the same time. But if you prefer to order in person, Yumiko will happily swing past your table.

Updated: May 13th, 2022

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