Food tasting: Ippudo | Japanese Ramen Noodle Restaurant

[Invited food tasting by Openrice]  Disclamer: This is by no means a food critque. I am only writ...

[Invited food tasting by Openrice] 
Disclamer: This is by no means a food critque. I am only writing a review to let readers know how the food taste. Please don't sue me :)

This time, I'm here for some mouth-watering ramen at Ippudo


"Ippudo SG opened in Singapore on 12 December 2009 and is the second overseas venture after Ippudo NY. It first opened its doors in 1985 with a counter seating capacity of ten and has since expanded to 44 locations throughout Japan" 


I've been to quite a few Ramen eateries and the most unforgettable one is the one recommended by my friend - Keisuke Tonkotsu King at Orchid Hotel. 

Nonetheless, I got a chance to try out Ippudo Ramen at  Mandarin Gallery, thanks to Openrice's invite. Here's my take. 


The moment I reached Ippudo, I see a long queue streaming outside the restaurant. I'm guessing the waiting time during the peak hour (dinner time) should be around 25 minutes or so. 


The interior design is mostly furnished with wooden furniture and very dimly lit. You can choose to have your meal on the dining tables or along the ramen bar just for a quick fix. 


Choya with Lemon

Choya with lemon

Very swiftly, my choice of drink was served. I tried the Choya with Lemon (Choya is fixed and you can choose from a few flavoured soda). Choya with lemon tasted more citrus and gassy, and it actually leaves a slightly dry aftertaste. 

Umeshu with Cranberry
Halfway through the dinner I got to try another drink - Umeshu with Cranberry, and this time I was bought over. 

Umeshu with Cranberry is definitely stronger and smoother with a hint of fruity taste thanks to the cranberry. It leaves a slightly stonger alcohol aftertaste. I prefer this drink to the previous one because I like how smooth the drink is. Choya with lemon is a little too gassy to my likings due to the soda that was paired with the choya. 


I also tried my friend's Japanese yogurt drink. It resembles a little like yakult drink so I wouldn't really recommend you to try it. But if you really want to know how does a Japanese yogurt drink taste like, please do ahead because you might not agree that it taste like yakult! ;) Nonetheless, the sweetness of the yogurt drink was just right as well. 

Goma Q
Fresh Japanese cucumber with sesame 
Start off the meal with a refreshing appetizer, Japanese cucumber coated with Ippudo's sesame sauce. I find the sauce perfect because it comes with a tangy and spicy taste. The only complain is that the cucumber was a little too thick, so the taste of the cucumber very quickly overwhelms the sesame sauce after much chewing. 

Goma Q
Fresh Japanese cucumber with sesame 

Pork Bun (recommended)
Steamed bun with braised pork and Ippudo's original sauce 
 If you are hankering for some braised pork but not served in a pool of ramen broth, try the Pork bun at Ippudo. This deceptively simple sounding item turned out so well, no wonder it was one of the best seller and many diners' favourite.  The pork bun comes with a smooth soft bun sandwiching the succulent braised pork, drizzled with Ippudo's original sauce. 

Pork Bun (recommended)
Steamed bun with braised pork and Ippudo's original sauce
This is really good I swear. 


Crispy corn
Smoked-taste corn
For some chewy starter, try the crispy corn coated with some slightly spicy seasonings that is definitely tolerable. The amazing thing about this is although it was deep-fried, the Crispy Corn still manages to retain the moisture and chewiness of the corn. 


Spicy Shrimp Mayo (Recommended)
Lightly battered deep-fried succulent prawns served with home-made spicy mayonnaise dip 
 At first glance, the size of the prawn and the way this appetizer was displayed already won many hearts. Dipped in a spoonful of spicy mayonnaise, the huge fresh prawn itself was crunchy and juicy. 
Spicy Shrimp Mayo
Lightly battered deep-fried succulent prawns served with home-made spicy mayonnaise dip

The spicy mayonnaise that I absolutely love

Beef Tataki (recommended!)
Pan-seared tender beef slices served with a tangy sauce 
 My apology for recommending so many dishes, but most of them are honestly my favourite! This is especially for the beef tataki. 
The beef tataki are medium-rare wagyu beef slices. It goes very well with the tangy sauce on the side, if not the soya sauce that comes with it. In fact, it taste as good consumed on its own. 

Beef Tataki (recommended!)
Pan-seared tender beef slices served with a tangy sauce

Seasonings for your ramen, including fresh garlic that you need to ground yourself on the spot 

Shiromaru Motoaji
Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth served with thin noodles, rosu chashu (pork loin), cabbage, kikurage & spring onions. Classic Hakata-style ramen. 
Rosu chashu (pork loin)
Surprising to say this but the original ramen (Shiromaru Motoaji) itself already possess an extremely rich and thick broth that suggests how long the broth has been boiled. That said, it doesn't require any additional miso paste or anything and it's marvelous on its own. 

 I had the noodle option "Hard" and I thought it was normal. The PR and marketing in charge, Vivien, explained that their bowls are actually heated up to about 70 Degree Celsius even before they pour in the freshly cooked ramen. It's only natural to have the ramen to turn soft after even a short while, considering we spent quite some time taking the photos before eating.

Speaking about the hardness of the ramen, Ippudo allows you to choose the hardness of  your ramen among: 
Soft, medium, hard, very hard. 

Akamaru shin-aji
Ippudo's original broth enhanced with the special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with thin noodles, buta bara (pork belly), kikurage and spring onions. A refined, modern-style ramen. 
 This time, the second ramen has additional miso paste which added a saltier taste to the broth. Instead of Chashu (pork loin), Buta Bara (pork belly) was used for this ramen. I personally don't prefer the broth to be so salty. So it really depends on your preference actually. If you prefer a much stronger and richer broth (saltier), you can try the Akamaru Shin-Aji. 



Karaka-Men 
Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso & ground pork 
I'm not too sure about this but the soup was in fact not spicy. The ground pork kind of resembles bacon bits (though larger slices) in their pork sauce. If you would like to have ground pork in the soup, perhaps this would be a better choice than the other two. 

The broth itself are all the same - original tonkotsu broth. 

Ground pork in Karaka-men

To end off the meal and refresh our tastebud from the savoury ramen broth, we were served the yuzu sorbet. Refreshing and zesty, it sure does help to curb the thirst from having the ramen. 
Yuzu Sorbet S$5



All in all, Ippudo is definitely a place to find authentic ramen that are 999 times better than Ajisen. I believe the reason for a large number of crowd queuing for Ippudo is for their rich ramen broth and also the many variety of beverages and appetizers served here. 

Thank you Openrice for the invite! 

And the funny store managers, who are really shy and friendly. 


333A Orchard Road 
#04-02/03/04 Mandarin Gallery
Singapore 238897

Everyday
11:00 to 23:00 
(Last order at 22:00)


Give me some support!
  

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