Rising Sun Workshop, Newtown

Part cafe, part ramen-bar, part workshop space – have you parted ways with Newtown’s King Street and discovered Rising Sun Workshop yet?

It opened April 3 on the corner of Lennox and Mary Streets (and parallel to King for those of you eyeing the street signs) in the space that’s often advertised as a “great pop-up opportunity”. Over the years it’s been everything from an art gallery to a yoga studio, a co-op to a boutique shop. Now, it’s Rising Sun, a pop-up cafe/ramen-bar/workshop.

Because who says you have to limit yourself to being just one thing?

It’s also Sydney’s first communal workshop space for (wait for it) motorcycle enthusiasts. Or at least, that was the intention when Nick Smith and Daniel Cesarano decided to farewell their Single Origin Roasters compadres to pursue this dream.

Originally the idea was this: Nick would supply the endless bowls of ramen, Dan would provide the caffeine fix, cookies, pastries and cake and you? You, being the motoring enthusiast that you are, would rent the workshop space – which included all tools and a breakdown pick-up service – for the low-low price of $10 per hour. Pretty sweet, huh?

But then, they hit a hitch.

Tasting Notes
Here’s what you need to know about this part-cafe, part-ramen bar Newtown pop-up.

The vibe: Cool and casual

Ideal for: Business meetings, morning java hits and ramen cravings.

Try the...”The Light” ramen, “it’s more subtle and complex”, says Nick, $15

By the way...They’re only here for two months, but are looking to secure a permanent residency elsewhere afterwards.

Find Rising Sun Workshop on Facebook: Rising Sun Workshop

On the day they were supposed to roll up their doors (April 1), somebody made a complaint about them using the space as a mechanic’s workshop and, being a new hybrid-concept with no rules or regulations pertaining to their particular circumstance, the workshop was deemed unfit for trade.

The workshop closed even before it was given a chance at glory and the space devoted to it has since been sectioned off. “Now it’s a very expensive private area/storage space,” says Dan. “But we’re fighting for it.” Fingers crossed they’ll be able to find a resolve with the council and re-offer their motorcycling services soon.

In the meantime, there’s great Single Origin coffee to get you started in the morning and oodles of handmade ramen-y goodness to fuel your lunch and dinner.

We know what you’re thinking: “So what? It’s just noodles, right?” Not according to the ‘noodle eating zombie hordes of the apocalypse’ (their words, not ours) who caught Nick on the back foot and cleared him out the first two days in a row. They may not know the difference between an arm and a leg, but they do know a good, clean, flavoursome broth when they taste one.

And authentic noodles to match.

“Our noodles are tailor-made by a bespoke noodle maker in Sydney. He makes noodles to our determined recipe, thickness, length...” he trails off. “As a non-Japanese, I’m thrilled to be given the privilege to serve them.” It didn’t come easy. For that privilege, Nick had to audition in front of a board of Japanese men with the promise that his ramen would be a “no shortcuts, powderless, hands-on and sustainable” one.

Which takes us to the broths. Don’t expect a hot-water-plus-powder 2-minute student miracle. These are 4-15 hour long steeps delivered in three distinct flavours: the darkness, the lightness and the monk.

The darkness is a 15-hour broth. “It’s called the darkness because it’s made from things you can find in the dark, like bones and mushrooms,” explains Nick. For a modern twist, he replaces the dashi (cooking stock) with another smoke from western culture, bacon and pork hock.

The lightness is a double soup. It’s a combination of a 4-5-hour chicken broth and a dashi ‘tea of the ocean’ broth of giant kelp, bento, sardines, squid and mackerel.

Lastly, there’s the monk. It’s a vegetarian delight of seaweed, shiitake mushrooms, miso and sesame, brewed for four hours and topped with miso pureed eggplant.

Noodle eating zombie hordes of the apocalypse, in true pop-up fashion this one won’t be around for long, so you’d best arm and leg it to Rising Sun before it’s gone.

We know we are.

Not because we’re noodle eating zombie hordes of the apocalypse, though.

We just love our ramen.

What you need to know

Address: 36 Lennox St, Newtown (Corner Mary and Lennox streets)

Opening Hours: Cafe: daily 7am-4pm, Ramen: Daily 11:30am-3pm (lunch), Thursday to Sunday 5:30pm-7:30pm (dinner)

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