Ippudo Ramen, Central, Hong Kong
I first went to Ippudo a while back in Tsim Sha Tsui – their first branch. I wasn’t quite the ramen connoisseur back then and I’m not saying I am now but I have had my fair share of ramen, including in Japan and ‘thinks’ I know what is good or not – well more like I know what I do like and don’t like. Ippudo has opened in Central, just around the corner from my work and thought I would check it out and give it another go.
I was meeting ‘The Mother’ for lunch – he absolutely loves ramen and loves Ippudo – he obviously hasn’t tried Butao! At the time of us going to lunch he hadn’t gone to Butao but he has now and will tell you what he thinks about the two later on.
Ippudo has was established in 1985 in Hakata (Fukuoaka)in Kyushu Japan by Shigemi Kwahara – crowned Ramen King in 2005. It now has restaurants in Tokyo, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and more recently in Sydney.
Unfortunately you can’t make any reservations, so make sure you come early to avoid the lunch / dinner rush. We started with some Ippudo gyoza dumplings (5 pieces), slightly pan fried on the bottom, these babies were delicious and moreish.
I couldn’t go pas the Ippudo bbq pork bun. I was a little disappointed with the pork bun, the bun itself was soft and fluffy that it just melted in my mouth. However, the pork was too salty for my liking. I had such high expectations and it definitely did not meet those expectations!
‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the akamaru shinaji – rich and powerful in tonkatsu flavour, enhancing the savors of pork bones, topped with fragrant oil and special miso. The soup was delicious and the noodles soft and thin.
I ordered something simpler – miso tonkatsu, subtle and gentle flavours with lean slices of pork, comes in Hakata-Style ultra-thin noodles. The soup was rich in flavour but not sickly or thick. It was good but I still do prefer my ramen from Butao!
I couldn’t resist and got some extra pork belly! OH MY…
The chicken karaage at Ippudo was surprisingly good! Unfortunately you only get THREE pieces of chicken, so two orders were definitely in order. They were crispy and extremely tender which was good.
I can’t remember the name of this, but it was hot pot served with thin white translucent noodles and tofu – this was good, a little on the spicy side but perfect for a cold day.
Overall I thought Ippudo was good – I liked the variety of the menu, if you didn’t feel like ramen you could order other things like fried chicken, pork bun and many more. The ramen itself, like I mentioned earlier, I do prefer Butao – it is probably still my favourite ramen place in Hong Kong!
‘The Mother’ thought both were good, he does prefer Butao over Ippudo but still thinks Ippudo is one of the nicest he has had.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
3/F, Century Square, 1-13 D’Aguilar Street,
Central, Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2537 1829