My gal pals and I met up in New York last weekend. I missed the last get together and apparently the pork buns at Ippudo too, so naturally this was one of the first places we dined at. Prior to visiting Ippudo my experience with ramen had been limited to the packaged stuff. My favorite is Mama Shrimp Tom Yum flavor. Really I’ve been hyping up authentic Japanese ramen in my mind for a while. My expectations were perfectly al dente egg noodles swimming in a savory onion-y, meaty, umami broth.
Being a complete noob I ordered the Shoyu ramen. My friend Nathalie’s bowl of Akumaru Modern ramen was far superior, but in the end my expectations had been too high. The meaty flavor explosion I had hoped for was more bitter than umami. All in all it was edible, but the highlight of the meal was the pork buns. Imagine this: pillowy bao enveloping kewpie mayo, lettuce and melt-in-your-mouth pork belly. I had two, and wish I had ten.
VUrdict: PORK BUNS rockmyworld. Will give the ramen a second try. Must recreate those buns at home… oh yes.
65 Fourth Avenue (Between 9th and 10th Street)
New York, NY 10003
*They don’t take reservations so plan ahead and put your name on the list or prepare to wait for a very long time.
These blogs also gave Ippudo a whirl: