Nick Smith's early fascination with food was marked, literally, with a bang. A childhood cooking incident – which led to an unexpected visit from the bomb squad – did not deter his culinary interests, nor did a 10-year career in stockbroking. Along the way, he started his own catering company, became involved with Single Origin Roasters and, most recently, is the reason why people have been blitzing through bowls of ramen at the Rising Sun Workshop pop-up noodle bar and communal motorcycle garage in Newtown.
In this podcast, Nick also talks about the creative ways he's worked around the limits of – for instance – currently only having one frypan in the Rising Sun Workshop kitchen (blowtorches have been deployed) and how he went on a ramen study-binge before finalising the three types of memorable broths that he serves at the current Newtown pop-up: The Darkness, The Light and The Monk.
The current phase of Rising Sun will wind up on Sunday September 21. Nick talks about the special dinners that will take place in the lead-up to this final date, as well as the next stage of the ramen bar. The workshop crew is waiting on the response to a development application currently before City of Sydney council. If all goes well, this noodle joint/communal workshop will rise again at the old Mitre 10 site in Newtown, on 1 Whateley Lane. Fingers crossed that these guys re-emerge soon – they've been doing great things at the current Lennox St site; plus, Sydney needs its ramen fix!
PS The David-Chang-endorsed ramen place in JR Tokyo that we discuss in the interview is Rokurinsha.