Fukuoka, Tokyo, New York, Seoul, Shanghai, Taiwan, Shenzen, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Sydney, and now, IPPUDO has reached the Philippines and will be open TOMORROW (September 10, 2014)! Particularly at SM Megamall Fashion Hall!
Now before you think "Another ramen restaurant?!" just check it out first and and see. Who knows, you might just love it! Especially when you hear about IPPUDO's history
IPPUDO was founded in 1985 by Shigemi Kawahara who is actually known in Japan as the Ramen King. That says a lot. He was dubbed as the ramen king because of his three consecutive winnings (all first place, by the way) on a ramen-making Japanese television show. He continuously innovates the way of ramen which is how he gave birth to the Hakata-style tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen, which has their signature creamy broth (I love creamy broths!), and in turn, earned IPPUDO its global acclaim.
IPPUDO started out as a 10-seater ramen restaurant. The photo above is the actual first IPPUDO restaurant in Japan Daimyo District, Fukuoka City. I can only imagine how long the line was back then!
And now, it's here! We were lucky to be invited to IPPODU's Private Tasting along with a lot of other amazing bloggers!
They haven't even served the food yet and I was already so happy. Why? I saw that they had baskets underneath the seats for storing your stuff while you eat. This is heaven-sent for women and moms who, no matter how much they spring-clean their bags, still end up having a lot of stuff in it. I posted it on my page and a follower commented that some restaurants in Japan really have this. Cool! I'm having a complete Japanese experience already haha! Thanks Hazel! :-)
Upon entering, the first thing you'll see on your left is the open kitchen where all the magic begins!
The interiors are exactly the same as the ones as the international branches. Zen-ish with touches of red and white, which are the color coding of IPPODU ramen flavors.
On the other side you will see a wall of red and white ramen bowls.
On each tables, here are the condiments you will seel. Pepper, sesame seeds, a garlic smasher thingy, and the white plastic box contains cloves of garlic in water.
Oh, and when you're with your kids, this will be their dining set. How adorable is that?!?! Hello Kitty! Can't get any more Japanese than that hehehe.
Here's the best way to enjoy your ramen!
This is Yota Shiba. He joined IPPUDO back in 2010 at the first ever original branch, and has mastered the Hakata-style ramen. He eventually went up the ladder until he was tasked to manage a store in IPPUDO Namba, Osaka. And he's currently here in Manila to help guide IPPUDO Manila with the opening and operations. Such a privilege to have met him!
Okay let's get started with the food! Beginning with the sidings...
The Dashimaki Tamago with Mentaiko Mayo (P150) are fluffy Japanese Omelette Roll with spicy cod roe mayonnaise dip. I enjoyed it and ended up eating Richie's leftover hehe.
The Goma Q Salad (P140) Sliced Japanese cucumber with sesame dressing. Simple yet very refreshing. I have never seen cucumber this slender.
The Curry Cheese Harumaki (P190) are deep-fried spring rolls stuffed minced pork, curry, and cheese! Love the combination of this! Curry + cheese is love! It's served with an extra serving of curry and some crunchy noodles. Really good!
The IPPUDO Hakata-style Gyoza (P195) is their original pan-fried dumplings. I love how crunchy the sear is and then juicy on the inside. This is IPPODU HK's best seller/
And finally, saving the best for last, is the IPPODU Pork Bun (P100). As you can imagine, this is Richie's favorite. And I don't blame him. It really is delicious! A steamed bun with a juicy thick slice of braised pork belly smothered in IPPUDO's original sauce. Mouth. Watering. Must. Go. Back!!!!
Before anything else, here's the components of an IPPUDO ramen. Hakata-style noodles which are mad fresh daily using their own blend of specialty four; Their ever so tender Chasu that's boiled and stewed for 2 hours; Ajikikurage (flavoured black fungus); And all submerged in a bowl of dashi (stock made from fish and kelp used in Japanese cooking) and of course, their signature tonkotsu broth, and IPPODU secret recipe that takes 15 hours to be extracted. (Whoa!!!)
Okay so moving on to the ramens for real...
The Shiromaru Motoaji (P375) is IPPUDO's original tonkatsu broth with thin noodles, pork loin, beef sprouts, kikurage and spring onions. It's truly a classic Hakata-style ramen. This was my order, actually. And I enjoyed it. I would have finished every drop if I wasn't so full and about to explode. The broth is really tasty, noodles thin yet aldente. I would have loved to add shio tamago though but I don't think they were serving it already that night. I'll definitely go back for my shio tamago! And yes the pork is very tender!
Next is the Akamaru Shinaji (P390). This is also IPPODU's original tonkatsu broth but with an added miso paste, and garlic oil. This was Richie's order that I want to try on my next visit. This is more of their modern-style ramen. It also has thin noodles, pork belly, lilurage, and spring onions.
And last but not the least, the Karaka-Men (P390). This is like the Akamaru Shinaji but the difference is the special spicy minced meat. So if you like spicy ramen, this will be the bowl for you.
If you want more noodles, you can order a serving of Kae-Dama (P70). Perfect for when you have more soup left and still more room in your stomach (which I doubt haha! It's all so filling!).
You may check the special suggested combination of ramen and toppings on the menu below.
Congratulations IPPODU for the successful private tasting event!
And welcome to Manila!!!
Tel. No. (02) 470 1837
Follow them on their socila medias for updates!