It is with big thanks to the gents at Ompty Media that I scored an invite to attend and review Gou Sushi in Surry Hills for my first visit, I have since returned and SHOCK HORROR, purchased a meal. There is a lot of sushi in Sydney these days and the majority of it is passable. It is quite rare to find one that is that little bit special with food that tastes fresher and more authentic. Not that I know what authentic is – i’m yet to visit to Japan but you get my point. Gou Sushi is one of those places. It wasn’t a decent Japanese sushi experience, it was a good one.
GOU SUSHI VENUE:
Gou Sushi is located next to Haven Tailoring on Chalmers St, right across from one of the Surry Hills entries to Central Station. It appears like a medium sized sushi train on entry with a counter on the left, a large sushi train taking up most of the centre and a couple of tables under the glass frontage. The afternoon suns hits the glass at the front so the blinds will most likely be pulled pending your visit time. The floors are dark, the benches are polished pine and there is a hot kitchen out the back. There is lots of beer and sake that rim the roof on shelves and for the love of a good night make sure you try some of them.
THE SUSHI TRAIN:
Gou Sushi’s train has a lot to offer. All the regular suspects are in there and a few extra but to be honest, we didn’t take anything off the train on my first visit, (I did take one plate on the second). On the first visit we ordered our entire meal off the menu. I have never really done that when sitting at a sushi train, but the menu is good! And can I put in a request to all the sushi places of Sydney – can you please make me some egg salad sushi boats. I used to eat it all the time at a train I loved and no one ever makes them anymore – the venue that makes it will become my new most visited sushi train.
If you love your sake then partake dear reader, partake! I kicked off with an Asahi, a beer beverage staple for me – just love it. Then my guest for the dinner and I tried Plum Sake and O M G – I am in love. Will definitely be drinking that again! The drinks are limited to some Japanese beers, sakes and the plum or yuzu sake. But there is more than enough to satisfy your thirst.
GOU SUSHI MENU:
The menu is fantastic, well balanced and everything sounds impressive. Small dishes, salads, miso, cold dishes, hot dishes, tempuras, hotpot, donburi, sashimi, carpaccio, tataki, Chef’s Specials and then all the sushi on the train. There is so much to choose from you will need multiple visits to try everything you want. I need to return for so many dishes. For example, I need to eat Scampi Caterpillar, Salmon and Beetroot Sushi, Pork and Kimchi Udon Hot Pot and Soft Shell Crab Tempura – just to name a few haha.
WHAT WE ATE:
We kicked it off with Beef Tataki – seared beef, red onion, seasonal vegetables, yuzu kashu and ponzu dressing. It was incredible and the perfect dish to start with as we were salivating in delight and this marvel of a dish. So tender and so tasty and that yuzu kashu and that ponzu dressing added so much extra to the dish. I could eat this one daily.
Next we devoured the Lightly Torched Aburi Sushi Chef’s Tasting plate. This comes with size pieces of sushi. Scallop, salmon, crystal bay prawn, beef, crab stick and eel. They were all quite satisfying. I am not a fan of eel but I actually enjoyed this one. There is a lot of detail in the preparation and presentation and I would happily eat this again. The salmon and prawn were my faves.
Next in line was the salmon carpaccio. It was sublime, thinly sliced salmon, red onion garnish and carpaccio dressing – whatever that is. It was beautifully presented and I realised when eating this “why do I order off sushi trains?” when all these wonders are available off the menu.
THE TWO DISHES TO WRITE HOME ABOUT:
I have dined at Gou Sushi twice now and on each visit I have tried one of the chalkboard specials and both have been marvellous. My single favourite dish at Gou Sushi is easily the Green Tea Soba Noodles with Salmon and Ontama. It is just incredible and I will always sway towards a dish with Ontama – I just love eggs! Salmon sashimi, 62° egg on cold soba served with a cold dashi broth. I could possibly live on this dish – do not visit this venue and not eat it! It also gives fantastic noodle lift pics for Insta haha.
And one I only had a couple of weeks ago, Lobster Tail Tempura. All that fried goodness on the left of the shot is tempura lobster. It is fantastic. On the right in the actual tail is what I worked out was lobster salad – a mayo based salad that works well as a dipping sauce but even better scooping it in your gob. Both these specials are only available for dinner and are worth every penny.
Asian desserts always weird me out but I quite enjoyed one of our two that we ordered. I didn’t like the pic of the Matcha Strawberry Daifuku so didn’t post it but I enjoyed it the most. My dining guest was not a fan of either of the desserts so I got it all haha. The below Cheese Spring Roll was interesting but I would probably not order it again. Cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and red bean paste wrapped in mochi skin and deep fried. The flavours just didn’t work for me. But the matcha ice cream and strawberries I inhaled.
Gou Sushi would make my top five sushi venues in Sydney. It is way above standard and I recommend ordering off the menu over the train. If you visit and don’t order the green tea soba noodles with salmon and ontama you are a mug. And make sure you wash everything down with plum sake! Itadakimasu!
SCORE BREAKDOWN: 2/3 food, 2/2 service, 1/1 drinks, 1/1 venue & ambience, 1/1 cost, 1/1 toilets and 0/1 bonus
Gou Sushi Deets:
PH: (02) 8387 1148
Shop 2, 30 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills 2010
BOOKINGS: Yes but walk-ins welcome
HOURS: Mon – Sat: 1130am to 3pm then 530pm to 930pm | Closed Sundays
LOCAL DELIVERY: Probably via Uber Eats and/or Deliveroo
VEGETARIAN OPTIONS: Yes
GLUTEN FREE OPTIONS: Yes
KID FRIENDLY: Yes
*** One of my visits was paid for and the other was an invitation from Ompty Media ***