Here in the Klang Valley, Ippudo has always been associated with ramen and accompanying Japanese dishes (read my earlier review here). Now there’s another experience to associate with that name, with the opening of IPPUDO Bar not too long ago at the Bangsar Shopping Centre. Located right next to Ippudo Ramen, IPPUDO Bar’s outdoor area section is a dedicated bar with high tables, wine chiller and bar shelves to display authentic Japanese alcohol.
It is a natural progression, if you think about it. Extending the ramen experience further, premium Japanese whiskeys, beers and sake are obvious choices to continue a night of dining and drinking in a Japanese establishment. I personally observed and experienced this in my recent trip to Japan. It is the way of life there – people converging to restaurants and bars after work where dining and drinking is a seamless experience.
Tomo Kudo, Ippudo’s Regional Operational Consultant summed it up neatly: “With the Ippudo Bar, we are aiming to recreate this experience for Malaysians to bring them a taste of Japan’s famous nightlife right here in Kuala Lumpur. We offer our customers the chance to immerse themselves in an authentic Japanese atmosphere complete with Japanese alcohol and bar food prepared with the same high quality and standards of Ippudo’s world famous ramen.”
At the launch of IPPUDO Bar, we got to experience the food pairings Ippudo provides to complement the premium Japanese alcohol, showcasing how alcohol can enhance the taste of food and vice versa.
Two sakes were showcased: Sparkling Sake (Hana Awaka) paired with Sushi Pinchos followed by Junmai Ginjyo Hakuryu paired with Squid Tentacles and Cucumber.
Between the two sakes, I would say that Hana Awaka is designed more for the ladies as it’s very refreshing, fizzy, low-alcohol sake with a mild sweetness and acidity. The light, pleasant bubbly sake is perfect as a brunch and after-work drink. On the other hand, the Junmai Ginjyo Hakuryu tasted a little stronger than Hana Awaka but it had a very rice fruity aroma and smooth, more suited to the guys perhaps.
We then had the Taketsuru 12 Years Whiskey paired with Camembert (cheese tempura dipped in blueberry sauce).
Taketsuru 12 Year Whiskey is a younger blended malt from the Nikka family, Nikka Taketsuru, which is named after Masataka Taketsuru who founded the company in 1934. It has won the World Whiskies Awards 2012 categorized under the Best Non-Scotch Blended Malt 12 years and under. A very delightful aroma instantly hits you when it’s served and the subtle taste is well-balanced with some slightly smokey nuances. It’s highly recommended for those who prefer a smooth and yet not overly smokey whiskey.
Whiskey lovers can rejoice as IPPUDO Bar’s impressive menu also features award winning Japanese whiskey such as Yamazaki, Hibiki and Taketsuru single malts.
Besides whiskey, IPPUDO Bar also offers a wide range of Japanese beers including Suntory the Premium Malt’s, Kirin Ichiban, Sapporo and craft beers like Hitachino’s White Ale and Nipponia. Cocktails are also included in the menu with Ippudo’s own unique Japanese-inspired creations.
The Suntory Premium Malt’s features a delicate floral aroma and a rich, quality taste
Lot G110 Ground Floor
Bangsar Shopping Centre
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Business hours: 11am – Midnight
*Attended by Rachel Ngiam & Edwin Shiaw on behalf of PureGlutton.com.
Photography by Edwin Shiaw