Ippudo has quickly become to what some would consider as legend. Conquering the likes of New York, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai. Ippudo has firmly found its place in Sydney’s Westfield. Since its opening it has quickly drawn in the crowds and cult following with its signature ramen and pork buns.
Ippudo specialises in Tonkostu ramen and offers up 3 variations of this:
- Akamaru shinaji (above): the recipe is 25 years old and includes miso, garlic oil, pork belly, black mushrooms, bean sprouts and shallots – the Tonkotsu broth is slow cooked with pork bones to add extra depth of flavour
- Shiromaru motoaji: Tonkotsu broth served with Hakata ultra thin noodles and includes pork loin, black mushrooms, cabbage & shallots
- Karaka men: Tonkotsu broth with Hakata wavy noodles and includes spicy miso paste with ground pork
You can also specify the firmness of your noodles from “soft, medium or firm”. Which is funny because as a child I loved them soggy but as I have gotten older, I have graduated up to medium and now firm. I love a firm texture! They recommend having it firm but I wonder, how do you like your ramen?
Having tried 2 out of 3 Ramen’s at Ippudo, the Akamaru with flavoured egg ($18) is my absolute favourite. I love the intensity and richness of the broth and every bowl of Ramen always comes down to the broth.
The broth comes positively gleaming with richness and flavour. I am so impatient I quickly go in for the dive and I completely immersed in it. It is sensational.
I also love the fragrant hints of garlic oil and the option to swirl the miso paste into your broth. To do so, lifts the broth to the highest order. My ramen is firm, adding texture and bite contrasting nicely with the fork tender pork belly that melts. The addition of flavoured egg is luxuriant, oozing its way out. Soft, rich and plump.
The ippudo pork buns ($4) are so delicious, every mouthful is just as delicious as the next. The buns are super soft, the pork is spicy, fatty and tender. Setting itself apart from the creaminess of Japanese kewpie mayo and crisp lettuce leaves. Reminds me a lot of the famous Momofuku pork buns.
The shiromaru with flavoured egg ($17) is the original tonkostu broth. It is similar to the akamaru but not as rich. It is the back to basics version but the broth is equally as fulfilling and worthy. It includes thin slices of pork loin, cabbage, shallots and black mushrooms.
I’m a big fan of Ippudo, I love the Ramen here and particularly love how the egg is served with a gooey soft centre. Staff a friendly and service is efficient but I’m not too sure on the price point… Nonetheless, the ramen is that good I am still willing to wait and pay up.
So tell me, how do you like your ramen. Soft, medium or firm? And do you like to slurp your ramen just as much as I do?