Smudge Eats: Salaryman
[Originally published on Smudge Eats, March 2016]
Restaurant Profile: Salaryman, Sydney
Salaryman rejuvenates the idea of a traditional ramen and Japanese noodle-bar, bringing an exciting vibe to Surry Hills.
Head Chef and owner, Stephen Seckold, brings 18 years of experience to this venture. He has always been a fan of the Japanese phenomenon of the Salaryman – the white-collar workers who promptly finish a long shift at work and head straight out for a bowl of ramen. As a chef he saw a synergy with this ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos and was inspired to share it in both the name of his new venture, and the vibe within.
He’s created something modern, a little bit grungy, and a little bit cool with the help from designer, Paul Kelly. There’s an energy that echoes through the space. Diners are immersed in the dishes and atmosphere, through smell, sight, sound, touch and taste. It is all brought to life by aromatic dishes, moody music, and a high energy team. If you take a seat at the bar you can interact with the chefs, or look on as your meal is prepared in front of you.
Dishes are made using only quality ingredients, such as crustaceans and rare-breed pork, which is butchered on site. Ramen bowls use seasonal broths, and misos have been fermented in-house.
The menu changes daily, no small feat, which keeps things unique and exciting. One day there may be dipping ramen, known as Tsukemen, with coconut-based dipping sauce and a side of robata calamari. Another day there might be a Mazemen, a minimal broth ramen, with a whole quail and a side of miso corn – the quail bones are used for stock and the confit meat is carved just before serving. The menu also includes smaller dishes, such as chicken wings stuffed with crayfish butter, and street food like Takoyaki.
Although if you are after something on-the-go, they’ll be serving up sweet Taiyaki – fish-shaped cakes – from their street window soon.
Words by Camilla Sampson
Photo by Alana Dimou