Monday, December 07, 2009

Ippudo: The meal of pork pork pork

Ippudo has arrived!

Second after New York, our little island is the only other city (for now) that house an overseas outlet of this popular Japanese ramen chain. We thought we could skip the queue by arriving late but even at 9pm the line was still 10-man long! The relatively waiting time, however, was thankfully relatively short, 10 minute tops.

I was hoping it would have a Tokyo hole-in-the-wall feel but it presented itself as quite the opposite, a large dining room lined with a bowl mural and Japanese comics, its modern and for lack of a better word, Japanese-looking.

Ippudo was on the eating agenda during my last trip to Japan but somehow it never happened. So how awesome is this: since I couldn’t go to Ippudo, Ippudo came to me! Expectations were set high and sad to say, I was mildly disappointed. The bowl of akamaru ramen had the right elements to make it spectacular – skinny silky noodles in pork broth with ‘manually’ stirred in red miso, black garlic oil, and paper thin slices of pork, the soup had a great delicate nutty flavour and a soft mouthfeel but it lacked an additional flavour dimension that prevented it from transcending to super good.

Ramen aside, the rest of the menu, in particular the appetizer section, had interesting items; if my memory serves me right, I spotted a prawn cocktail (rather unusual for a ramen shop) and a tofu with beans that I would like to return to try. But for dinner this visit, it was pork pork pork - Pork buns, pork gyozas and our pork stock bowls of ramen - and as a justification to that skewed diet, my dining companion declared, “you can never have enough pork”. The gyozas are what I would call "pork-corn" sized but the pork buns were delicious, my only gripe, is that needed more pork, if not it was most of it was lovely.

Ippudo Singapore
333A Orchard Road
Mandarin Gallery #04-02
Tel: 6235-2797

*photo credit to Dave.

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