The camera did not want to cooperate this morning so I’m writing this post and adding pictures later. Bear with me here.
I first heard about Ippudo through my friend, Jayne, who informed that it was a life altering place to eat and that I had to check it out. My first attempt to go to Ippudo was last year on my birthday, where I stupidly showed up at 7 and was informed that it would be a 2 hour wait. I expected a wait, but not 2 hours. This time around we decided to go first thing on Saturday, right when it opened at 11. Low and behold, when we arrived, there was already a line. This is how it goes at Ippudo, NYC’s most popular ramen restaurant. They don’t take reservations and they are always packed. ALWAYS. And let me tell you why they’re packed, because the place is ramen heaven. I knew it would be good, I had high expectations, and those expectations were just totally blown away. Read this infinitely amusing review from Immaculate Infatuation about their love for Ippudo (the guys who run this site are hilarious).
Lets begin. Pork buns! Oh. My. God. I had only ever had pork buns at Momofuku, which were wonderful, but oh man the ones at Ippudo were better. Melt in your mouth pork with crispy romaine and mayo stuffed into a fluffy white bun. Everything about this morsel of food screams “I AM INSANELY DELICIOUS, EAT ME.” An order comes with 2 buns and you’ll want your own order because sharing proves difficult. I could have easily downed 10 of them but then there would have been no room for the ramen and that would be travesty.
On to the ramen. We ordered their 2 most popular types: the Hakata Classic and the Akamaru Modern. The first comes in a pork broth with pork loin, ginger, scallions and bamboo shoots. You can also choose to add things like pork belly and spicy paste. The broth is incredible. It just bursts with flavor. The noodles are springy and don’t get mushy. Everything just works together to create a giant bowl of soul warming food. This is so much better than chicken soup. If you ate this when you were sick you’d probably feel better instantly. It could, in fact, be the cure to the common cold, that’s how good it is.
Even better than the classic, is the modern. They add their special miso paste to the classic broth and wow, what a difference it makes. It is incredibly rich and full of flavor. The modern comes with pork belly, which is way better than the pork loin. I mean, how could it not be? This ramen is completely addictive. I haven’t stopped craving it since I left. I have a confession – the first place I tried “real” ramen at was Momofuku and it was so salty that I could barely finish half of it before I felt my insides shriveling up. I was really disappointed. I don’t know if I just got a bad batch or if all of Momofuku’s ramen is the same way but I was worried that Ippudo’s would be equally salty. It wasn’t. It was perfect. Worth a trip and the wait. Just plan to get drinks somewhere nearby.