Ippudo: Perfect for Ramen Cravings
2/F at 8 Russell Street, Hong Kong
Ippudo is a chain of ramen restaurants started in Japan, they now have restaurants all over the world including Hong Kong and New York. We visited the Ippudo across the street from Times Square Mall in Hong Kong. The place was bustling at lunch time and had we not arrived right at 12 noon on the dot, we would have had to wait for a table.
Ippudo serves much more than ramen, there are rice and potstickers on the menu along with many other items but we definitely had a craving for ramen and pork buns.
My hubby ordered the Special Tokyo Shoyu and I picked the regular Hakodate Shio. We were looking at those two menu items for a long time and discovered the only difference is a few sheets of seaweed, a dumpling and half an egg. When we placed our orders, the server asked if we preferred our noodles to be soft or regular. We went with regular.
As we were waiting for our order, we became fascinated with this cool contraption they had at the table, mostly because we looked over and saw another diner using it. It was a little plastic container with a little turn wheel on one end and watching the other diner, we finally realized that the contraption was a sesame seed grinder. How simple but innovative! And much more advanced than a mortar and pestle we’ve seen in other Japanese restaurants for grinding sesame seeds.
Our steamed pork buns were served up first and I’ll have to admit, they were so flat and little compared to the pork buns we’ve had at Momofuku. You would think a location like Hong Kong would feature the fluffiest buns but the steamed buns were pretty underwhelming and the amount of pork meat inside the buns was nearly nil. What a disappointment.
We noticed that one of the diners sitting at the table next to us asked for a bib when his ramen came. He was wearing a white shirt. Who knew this place hands out bibs. How handy!
Finally our big bowls of steaming ramen were served. Both of us reached for the sesame grinder immediately. The Special Tokyo Shoyu was delicious. The noodles were cooked just right and the slices of pork were scrumptious. The broth was cloudy and tasty too. The broth in the Special Tokyo Shoyu was so much better than the broth in my Hakodate Shio that I had to steal spoonfuls of it from my hubby’s bowl.
The ramen at Ippudo totally hit the spot for our ramen cravings. The service was good and I loved that the portions (except for those tiny pork buns) were hearty.