Mention the name “Ippudo” to any Japanese food lover and immediately the response is likely to be “oh, famous for ramen!” Well, that’s true, of course, as the founder of Ippudo, the charismatic Shigemi Kawahara is known as the “Ramen King” in Japan. When Kawahara-san started Ippudo way back in 1985, he created ramen which personified his philosophy and vision. His innovative “Tao” or way with ramen took on many revolutions and improvements. From a 300 year-old invention, Kawahara-san’s creativity led him to re-invent the Hakata-style tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen with its signature delicate creamy broth which became Ippudo’s signature.
Malaysian ramen fans were ecstatic when Ippudo finally decided to set up an outlet in Kuala Lumpur last year as prior to that, the nearest place they could satiate their Ippudo ramen cravings was at Singapore. Now with 3 outlets in KL, Ippudo fans are totally spoilt when it comes to ramen feasting.
We checked out Ippudo at Bangsar Shopping Centre recently and loved its chic casual setting.
In fact, now ramen fans have more reason to head to the nearest Ippudo restaurant as their new seasonal Hakata Tsukemen (RM26) is available until end September.
Thick tsukemen noodles are served separately from the broth. Slices of bara chashu (simmered pork belly) and onsen tamago (poached eggs) accompany the ramen. I’s always interesting to observe how people tackle the Hakata Tsukemen. The right procedure is to pick up some noodles with chopsticks and dip them into the bowl of rich pork broth with robust undertones of bonito in it. To ensure more rounded flavours in the dipped noodles, the pork broth is intentionally saltier than normal. Once the noodles have been consumed, you can choose to add some hot water into the broth before drinking it up.
Besides the Hakata Tsukemen, there are several other ramens on the menu. Ippudo Kuro (RM28) is one of the more popular ones. Thick chewy noodles are served in Tonkatsu broth, topped with BBQ pork, flavoured black fungus, spring onions, spicy blended miso paste and fragrant garlic.
Ippudo Kuro Ramen
I like it that Ippudo in BSC has quite a good range of modern Japanese favourites on its menu besides ramen. It’s a good idea to try out some appetizers and Ippudo offers them either hot or cold.
Momotaru Tomato Pickle (RM15) and Salmon Carpaccio with homemade Ponzu sauce (RM29) are two excellent cold appetizers to try out. The Momotaru Tomato is so refreshing – the succulent bite gives way to a burst of sweet and tangy juices which makes you want more.
The salmon carpaccio drizzled with ponzu sauce is my favourite. The ponzu enhances the sweet briney flavour of the salmon – eat this with the golden ikura and it’s like sashimi heaven in a bite.
Salmon Carpaccio with homemade Ponzu sauce
I couldn’t resist ordering a sushi dish and the Fried Shrimp Roll with Spicy Mayo (RM28) did not disappoint. It’’s one of the better sushis I’ve eaten as the shrimp is extremely fresh and bouncy.
Fried Shrimp Roll with Spicy Mayo
Braised Pork Ribs with Caramel & Marmalade Sauce (RM28) and US Short Ribs with Wasabi & Black Pepper (RM49) will satiate any meat cravings very nicely. I love the tender juicy sliced beef with bits of fiery black pepper sticking to it and it’s paired perfectly with the sweet earthy shimeiji mushrooms.
Braised Pork Ribs with Caramel & Marmalade Sauce
US Short Ribs with Wasabi & Black Pepper
For some crunchy bites and a touch of Mexican, check out the Ippudo Original Spicy Pork Tacos (RM19). They are not my favourites but I’m told they go very well with beer!
Original Spicy Pork Tacos
Generally Japanese restaurants are not great on desserts – I have yet to come across one with awesome desserts. Ippudo does offer some desserts and these have more western influences than Japanese.
Chocolate Tiramisu (RM15)
Waffle Cake with Blueberry Puree (RM14)
We love the drinks in Ippudo and our favourites are their Mojito (RM23), a refreshing blend of lime, mint and Cruzan dark rum; their Lychee Martini (RM25) is pretty good with its unique combo of sake, lychee liquer and orange zest and DL’s Aranciatta Plum ((RM22) that has Umeishu and sparkling orange!
Lot G110 Ground Floor
Bangsar Shopping Centre
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Open: 11.00am till 12.00am daily