Ippudo is a very popular Japanese ramen restaurant chain. The first Ippudo restaurant opened in 1985 in Daimyo District of Chuo Ward, Fukuoka City. From there restaurants popped up all over Japan, but mainly in the Kanto and Kansai regions.
With Ippudo restaurants securely established around Japan, world domination seems to be on their to do list. Restaurants have opened in New York, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Shanghai, and late last year Sydney.
Like most restaurants which open with a big buzz, I take my time to visit, wait for the hype to die down a little. They hype hasn’t really died down, Ippudo is as busy as ever. My recommendation is get there early, they don’t take bookings. We get there early, 5.45pm on a Thursday night and have no problems securing a seat. By six o’clock people are lined up to get in.
Sydneyites have gone stark raving mad for these buns. Due to this fact we just have to try them. A butterfly style steamed bun filled with a thick slice of braised pork belly, iceberg lettuce and Ippudo’s original sauce. The ‘original sauce’ reminds me very much of Kewpie mayonnaise. I like them and could easily eat a few more. People have been comparing them to David Chang’s at Momofuku, having eaten both, David’s do come out trumps for me.
Cucumber with sesame sauce. Love the flavour, is strong with garlic, but you do get a bit of a salt build up after a while. Other than that, I could eat a bowlful of these.
Ippudo’s original tonkotsu broth is light but packed full of flavour. The wiggly noodles remind me in look at size little of Maggi two minute noodles, but taste nothing like them. Graced with a spicy kick and two tender pieces of rolled pork belly. We decide to order an onsen tomago (hot spring egg $2) to add to our dish. A soft boiled egg that spills it yellow innards when attacked with a chopstick, pure delight.
Wickedly crunchy fried chicken, that seems to have cornflakes in the coating. So crunchy and juicy, we love it! Totally gives Korean fried chicken a run for its money.
We enjoyed our visit and will be back for more buns, chicken and to try a few other of the menu items.
Dear Belly Rumbles’ reader, have you been to Ippudo?
Level 5 (Shop 5021), 188 Pitt St, Sydney
Tel +61 2 8078 7020