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Bring on spring with ‘Four Seasons Ramen’ at Gogyo

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Japanese ramen dining restaurant, Gogyo, is welcoming spring with open arms. Gogyo founder and renowned ramen king, Shigemi Kawahara, is kicking off its new range of ramen and accompanying dishes using the finest seasonal ingredients. Gogyo’s interior is sleek and stylish, inspired by the five natural forces of water, fire, earth, wind and gold.  The modern Japanese décor is comfortable and cool… it’s the perfect place to take shelter from Hong Kong’s spring showers!

Just a few floors up from the Airport Express in IFC mall, Gogyo offers a convenient spot for a send-off or a welcome Happy Hour drink. Arriving early evening, I took full advantage of this and selected a Prosecco from the enticing range of cocktails and wine. My Prosecco was crisp, light and tasted wonderful with the accompanying nuts and chicken skin appetiser.

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If you’re in need of a bigger nibble to accompany your tipple, there are both Happy Hour snacks and an assortment of skewers to choose from. I tasted the spicy tuna and salmon deep-fried rice bites, which were beautifully presented and hit the spot nicely. Although I have to say, it was tricky not to spill it all with just the aid of a cocktail stick! Of the skewer selection, the Wagyu beef with Eringi mushroom and Japanese chilli pepper kebab were highlights. I also loved the soft-boiled egg with pork slice that was also very tasty and cooked to perfection. If you want to add a little punch to your skewers, then try the grapefruit skin, sesame and seaweed seasoning for an added kick!

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With my tastebuds suitably awake, it was time for the main act: the ramen. I was very excited when a tray arrived adorned with a selection of scrumptious looking ingredients. It also came with a handy little booklet that contained instructions to help diners get the most from their ramen experience. Following the directions closely, I added a little bit of the dried bonito fish to the steaming broth made with essence of chicken, horse mackerel and savoury kelp. It was refreshing and flavoursome, yet not overpowering or too oily. Perfect! The noodles infused with tealeaves were light and firm, and the salmon was succulent. Next, I added the seaweed, BBQ pork and Japanese parsley to the bowl, topped off with my favourite ingredient – the rice cracker balls. These (as the name suggests) crackled in my mouth like popping candy and were a really fun touch.

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Putting my ramen to one side, I then sampled the sea bream sashimi. This came with sesame paste, fried egg and a touch of jam, which provided a welcome contrast in between spoonfuls of hot noodles. My ramen experience concluded with a traditional Japanese chazuke, made by pouring green tea broth over a ball of cooked rice. Although the chazuke wasn’t that thrilling, the green tea broth certainly added a new dimension to the ramen. Comforting, yet fresh and reviving, Gogyo’s Taicha spring ramen is an experience to enjoy and savour, rather than hurriedly slurp. This is no fast food ramen, that’s for sure!

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As you can imagine I was feeling pretty full at this point, but there is always a little corner for dessert… I selected the pineapple delight, which tasted like pina colada in a pudding – in a wonderfully good way! The pineapple sorbet was well balanced with the cream cheese mousse, while the granola added a nice crunchy texture. Overall, it was a very pleasant final touch!

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A meal at Gogyo including a Happy Hour drink, sushi bite snack, Taicha spring ramen and dessert will set you back a reasonable $450 per head and you certainly won’t be snacking afterwards! This is a great choice for ramen lovers who fancy a twist on the original dish and like to linger over their noodles rather than being rushed out the door. I look forward to sampling the summer ramen in July!

Gogyo, Shop 3020, Podium Level 3, IFC Mall, Central, Hong Kong, 2385 1366, www.facebook.com/gogyohk

Happy Hour at Gogyo takes place between 5 and 7pm every Monday to Friday. Beers start from $39, wine from $66 and cocktails from $41. All are accompanied by a complimentary appetiser.

The deep fried sushi bite is priced at $78 and the Happy Hour set which includes two drinks and a selection of five skewers costs $288. Four seasons spring Taicha ramen costs $178 and is available until June 30, while the pineapple delight is priced at $78.

Fenella is a British expat from Hertfordshire (think Darcy and Lizzy!) eager to discover new sights and sounds in Hong Kong. Follow her musings on Twitter @fenelladale

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