This week we went to get our fix of Japanese ramen at the famous Ippudo (pronounced as ih-PU-doh) in London Bloomsbury. Ever since they opened their first branch in the UK, it’s created a bit of a buzz within the foodie world – especially those of us that love their ramen!
Ippudo has over 80 restaurants dotted all over Japan and is famous for it’s deeply intense pork broth and perfectly cooked ramen. So of course we had to share our experience here with you!
To kick off the meal, we had two of their hirata buns:
Pork bun (£4.00) – this is their classic, signature soft braised pork belly bun. A little slice of iceberg lettuce adds a nice crunch to the dish, otherwise you’d literally feel like you’re eating air since the bun is so soft and fluffy! A thin layer of mayo and a special chilli sauce combines everything together. A must try if you go to Ippudo!
Chicken bun (£4.00) – chicken katsu (coated in bread crumbs and deep fried) in a soft fluffy steamed bun. Similar to the pork bun, there’s the thin layer of mayo and a slice of iceberg lettuce.
Next we tucked into the lovely ramen. Each came topped with 2 slices of their famous tender pork belly, spring onions, kikurage mushrooms and a dash of black garlic oil. Don’t be put off by the garlic oil though, think of it like when you add a dash of sesame oil to your stir-fry – its an added level of fragrance to the dish!
First up is the Akamaru Modern (£11.00) – Ippudo call this their “bolder translation” of their classic pork broth, as its got their secret special blended miso paste (fermented soya beans).If you like miso, then this is definitely one for you.
Second, we had the Karaka-Men (£11.00) – Ippudo’s original tonkotsu broth with a blob of their spicy miso paste. Definitely not for the faint hearted. The depth of the chilli really hits the back of your throat, yet it’s not too overpowering as you can still taste the intensity of the pork broth.
The down side to Ippudo is that there’s not enough of the yummy melt-in-your-mouth pork belly. You also have to pay extra for the additional toppings. You can order the extra toppings individually, or you can get the special combination plate (£5.00) like us. This has pork belly slices, crispy seaweed, soft boiled egg, spring onions, beansprouts, kikurage mushrooms. If you only choose one extra topping, definitely go for the soft-boiled egg!
A meal wouldn’t be finished unless we had dessert too! We opted for the Houji-Cha Pudding (£5.00). This was a smooth milky-like pudding, similar to the panacotta. The pudding is flavoured with roasted tea and topped with a layer of sweet kuromitsu sauce (black honey). The whipped cream on top is flavoured with honey. Nothing we’ve ever eaten before, so slightly weird, but oddly satisfying
Each time we go to Ippudo, they never fail to impress and this time was no different. Like Yummy Jubbly, Ippudo’s mission is “to spread smiles”. Yummy food made with care and affection will always have a soft spot in our hearts. So we’ve given Ippudo a whopping 4.5 yums! There’s lots of ramen places popping up in London now, but none can compete with Ippudo. Which doesn’t surprise us since their founder – Shigemi Kawahara – has been dubbed the ramen king! So if you’re looking for a ramen place to try, Ippudo is definitely one to visit!