If you're a meat-free diner in Sydney, your ramen options are fairly limited. But for the rest of the month, there's one more you can add to your list — and it looks mighty impressive.
Butter, Sydney's palace of fried chicken and ramen, is serving up a special mushroom-filled vego ramen until September 2 at both of its stores: Surry Hills and Parramatta. Unlike its cult-favourite fried chicken ramen, which will be replaced by the vego version for the two weeks, this one features two large fried field mushrooms as the centrepiece. They're floating around with black fungus, ramen noodles and an ajitsuke tamago (a marinated egg) too.
And then there's arguably the most important ramen component: the broth. While most ramen broth is made using pork bones boiled for hours, Butter's vego ramen broth is made using a kombu stock, which is mixed with vegetables, chickpeas, cashew nuts, fermented bean curd and preserved mustard. It's simmered for a whole six hours, too — which helps to caramelise the vegetables and give it a deeper flavour.
If you miss the limited-edition vego ramen, Butter has an oft-overlooked vegetarian menu that you could dive into instead. It feature giant fried mushroom pieces (yes, the ones from the ramen), which come served with the restaurant's signature hot sauce, the hefty "Biggie Shroom Sandwich" and fried haloumi fingers.
We're slightly skeptical about how well a fried chicken joint can do ramen, but if the popularity of its regular ramen is anything to go by, the vego version is at least worth trying.
Butter's vegetarian ramen ($18) is available until Sunday, September 2, at Butter Surry Hills, 6 Hunt Street, and Butter Parramatta, Shop 3, 140 Marsden Street.