Ippudo opens it’s doors in Manila

I did a blogpost on Ramen a while back. The trend hit Manila by storm and before we knew it, there were little Ramen houses popping up everywhere. I was quite honest about not being the biggest fan of the rich, fatty broth. Though flavorful, it was always difficult to go through the whole bowl. Ippudo Ramen is what changed my opinion. I first tried the popular franchise in Singapore and from there, considered myself a convert.

Chef and proprietor Shigemi Kawahara always believed that “Other chefs only bring out taste, but taking in the five senses while making dishes completes the experience.” This took him to success, gaining him a strong following and Michelin stars in his many Ippudo branches across Japan. In 2008, he opened his Ramen house in New York which garnered him an international fan base, quickly making his restaurant a local favorite. This success led to stores in Singapore, Sydney, Seoul, Hong kong, Taipei, Kuala Lumpur and now finally, Manila.

Doors to the public opened yesterday, September 10 2014 in Megamall, it is sure to create a buzz on our noodle-loving community, with hour-long lines to get in. I was fortunate enough to sit down for the sneak peak and even meet Mr. Kawahara and watch him in action. A bit starstruck and very excited, it was a night of  interesting conversation, overflowing Sake, and great food!

Sake to start

The menu is simple, consisting of 3 Ramen options and 5 side dishes. The sides are all impressive. What I look for is usually the buns Рpork, fried shrimp and chicken. Here, they only serve the Ippudo Pork Bun, but it is awesome Рa thick slab of pork belly in a sweet glaze, lettuce and japanese mayo in steamed cuapao. I followed that with the Curry Cheese Harumaki, which surprised me because it was my favorite of the night! The spring roll has the fragrant curry flavor with the salty, indulgent texture of cheese and comes with a nice sweet dipping sauce. The Hakata-style Gyoza was alright, as was the Goma Q (pickled cucumber) and the Dashimaki Tamago (Japanese Omelette).

Ippudo Pork Buns

Curry Cheese Harumaki

Ippudo Hakata-style Gyoza

Goma Q

Dashimaki Tamago

On to the star of the show, the Ramen. I was able to sample 2 out of the 3 variants they have. But before, I watch Mr. Kawahara work his magic on the broth and noodles.

Kawahara a.k.a. the Ramen King preparing his famous noodle soup

The Shiromaru Motoaji consists of thin noodles served in Ippudo’s original broth, and topped with enter pork loin and spring onions. It is smooth and flavorful.

Shiromaru Motoaji

The Karaka-men has the wavy noodle, also in the original Ippudo broth but elevated with spicy miso and topped with pork belly, minced meat and spring onions. I preferred this because the heat added that extra level of flavor to the dish.

Kara Ramen

For all you ramen lovers out there, this is a definite must try! Ippudo Ramen (@ippudoph) is located on the 3rd floor of the Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas.

with Mr. Shigemi Kawahara






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