Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ramen Love at Ippudo SG in Mandarin Gallery

This week, both my Facebook and Instagram news feeds are filled with photos of friends in Manila showing off their piping hot bowls of ramen or worst, a close up food porn shot of the ramen itself. I thought to myself, Manila must be experiencing a really rainy or cold weather that everyone were just suddenly in the mood to have something warm for their tummies. Then the news broke out that famous Japanese ramen brand, Ippudo has opened its doors in Manila. Ahh.. no wonder!

All these ramen photos and talks got me craving for a good bowl of ramen too! Luckily, we also have Ippudo here in Singapore and it's located right at the middle of Orchard Road and in 3 other oulets making it so accessible whenever that major craving for ramen hits. However, this particular visit to Ippudo dates back to the time when my family came to visit me. I just love it whenever family comes to visit as it gives us the best reason to eat out more and to try a couple of new restaurants that has been sitting on my list all these time. Of course, nothing can beat spending a couple of days or if I'm lucky, a week with the 3 VVIPs of my life. Despite having 2 daughters who love to eat, my parents are no voracious eaters. Multiple times I've mentioned how much of a healthy eater my Mommy, in particular is. Papa loves steak and his occasional Crispy Pata but over-all they both have small appetites. Now, I wonder where did Pan and I got our gluttonic genes from.

ippudo sg 3
So, when Mommy mentioned that she wanted to have ramen, I had to do my research. Definitely only the best for my family, right? Ippudo has been in the business since 1985 when it first opened shop in Hakata, Japan. Since then they have expanded to more than 80 branches all over Japan and 40 stores worldwide. What makes Ippudo click is the quality of the noodles. Seriously, a ramen shop needs to have the best noodles or else everything would be a total waste. No amount of tasty or innovative flavor will make a bowl of ramen truly comforting if the noodles are too hard or too soggy. Ippudo has mastered the craft of coming out with "al dente" ramen noodles that tastes so good in every bite.

We each had our own choice of ramen or rice dishes. Papa went for the Shiromaru Motoaji which is a simple bowl of Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth ramen served with two slices of cha shu, black fungus and spring onions. While I'm no ramen expert, I do know that what distinguishes the tonkotsu style ramen apart from the others is its milky pork broth that is full of flavor you'll just want to finish it all! Papa enjoyed his bowl of ramen and was so sweet to give me a small serving to try. I love that the noodles had a good bite and the soup was really good. This is coming from someone who's not a big fan of soup. The cha siu was very tender and I guess the simplicity of this ramen perfectly suits our taste.

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We also got some Gyoza to share in the middle. I have to admit though that it was just a-okay. Obviously not one of Ippudo's specialty but our family just loves gyoza very much that we order it when possible.

ippudo sg 1
As for me, I tried the Hakata Meshi which is a small bowl of Japanese rice topped with cha shu pork, mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and strips of Japanese egg. I was quite surprised with the size of my bowl as it was really tiny but the taste made up for it. It was really good and I was happy of my choice. Yum!

I haven't back at Ippudo SG yet but I think a second visit will follow suit after writing this entry. I need my ramen..NOW!

Want to try Ippudo in Manila? Check the reviews made by my favorite blogger friends:
IPPUDO Philippines: #WorldFamousRamen Now in Manila! by Anton Diaz
Ippudo Manila opens at SM Megamall by Rowena Lei

As for Ippudo SG, visit Mandarin Gallery, #04-02/03/04, Orchard Road. They also have branches in UE Square along Mohamed Sultan Road, Asia Square Tower 2 and in Westgate. Call them at 6235-2897 (Mandarin Gallery branch).  Follow them on Facebook too!

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