Sydney’s milieu of ramen restaurants tend to favour tonkotsu, an almost gravy-thick pork-bone soup hailing from Kyushu in Japan’s southwest. Ramen Zundo – named after the vast 160-litre stock pots ramen masters use to boil their broths over many hours – isn’t exactly one of them.

Opened by Hiroki Nagao in 2012, Zundo specialises in a popular Tokyo-style ramen that mixes tonkotsu and a soy-based shoyu soup. The result has some of the depth and texture of a tonkotsu, but it’s cleaner and subtler. On top of the ramen you’ll find something a bit different too. Instead of the usual thin, circular cuts of chashu (slow-braised pork), you get long soft strips of pork done tsugitashi-style, a technique used in traditional Japanese eel restaurants where each batch of sauce is added to the previous day’s for greater intensity of flavour.

As well as soups, Zundo serves tsukemen; a plate of thick and springy noodles accompanied by a small bowl of intensely-flavoured soup for dipping. Along with comforting Japanese curries, donburi sets and snacks, Zundo is one of the few ramen spots in Sydney with a good chunk of the menu devoted to vegetarian options.

Whether you’re visiting World Square or Chatswood, Zundo’s atmosphere and service-style is not unlike what you’d find at a Japanese ramen-ya: it’s fast-paced and casual, and as diners file in, the staff will look through the kitchen pass and call out “irasshaimase” (welcome) in greeting.

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Updated: May 30th, 2022

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