I keep hearing about Ippudo and how great the ramen is there. Well, I thought it was about time for me to check it out. So off to the Mandarin Gallery on Orchard Road to get my ramen fix.
I went on an off-hour, around 2pm, for lunch, and there was no wait at all. There is a table in front that you just hang around when you’re waiting for your table though. So tempting watching everyone eat.
The place is not that big, it seats around 57, and the less people you have when you go, the easier it will be to get a seat.
Me, I chose to sit at the bar, just to watch the guys work behind the counter.
OK, let’s get to the food. The biggest decision for me was whether to get some appetizers and one type of ramen, or get two types of ramen. I went for appetizers and ramen.
I started with the Pork Bun. You also have a choice of Shrimp or Chicken Bun, but you have to go for the pork.
Basically it’s your usual pork belly on a bun. Very Chinese, and this one, while tasting great, was not a knock your socks off kind of bite. And at S$3.50, I think I will skip this next time.
Next, I ordered the Gyoza for S$8.
Pan fried goodness. Quite nice, but again, standard run of the mill gyoza. Nothing special. So after two appetizers, I was a little disappointed at what I had received.
The ramen was to come. I decided to go for the house special, an original Tonkatsu ramen. This is where the broth is brewed for hours using pork bones and seasoned to perfection. At Ippudo it is called Shiromaru Motoaji.
It comes standard with some rosu chasu, cabbage, kikurage and spring onions. And then you can add sides to it.
I went for the special, which added Tamago, Pork Cubes and Bamboo Shoots.
That’s the ramen in itself. You can see the lovely oil bubbles and the broth looks so creamy and rich. You can order the noodles to your degree of hardness. They recommend hard with this broth, but I don’t like it al dente, I like it soft and springy, thus I went for medium.
Here are the sides that came. Wow, the Pork Cube looks unbelievable!
I split the egg and the ooze of the yolk just came right out.
I put it altogether and got ready to slurp it all down.
The combination of the broth and the ramen and the items, just unbelievable! So beautiful. The rosu chasu itself was so tender and flavorful. I think that perhaps next time I just go for tamago as an addition. But, this was just wonderful. The only drawback was the pricetag, which was S$24 for the special. Without any additions, it is S$15.
There are other choices for ramen, a modern tonkatsu, called Akamaru Shin-Aji, which miso paste and garlic oil, and instead of rosu chasu, you get buta bara (pork belly).
Then there is Karaka-Men, which is spicy tonkatsu. This one contains ground pork as the meat ingredient with spicy miso.
There are also other seasonal ramens on the menu, so you just have to find what is your choice.
If you want to splurge a little, this is definitely the place to go. It’s a little more costly than Ajisen, but it is well worth it every once in awhile.
Ippudo, I will be back!