Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Ippudo Philippines: World-Renowned Hakata Style Ramen Now Serving at Eastwood Avenue

Ippudo, the international ramen phenomenon, is finally spreading smiles and "arigatou" with their delicious bowls of ramen at Eastwood City's fast-rising food strip, Eastwood Avenue. The world-class ramen house's roots began at 1985 Hakata, Japan's ramen capital, when Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara opened his first ramen store. Since then, they've opened over 80 stores around the world, with long lines a common sight in every store. If you're interested to know more about Ippudo's history, check it out here.

From the very first sip, I can confidently place Ippudo as one of my top 3 ramen restaurants in Metro Manila. What they have is perfection in a bowl with a delicate balance between the broth, ingredients, and noodles resulting such a delicious bowl of ramen.

Ippudo's signature Hakata-style tonkotsu (pork-based) broth is what makes every bowl of ramen coming out of Ippudo's kitchen special. It probably took the Ramen King years of hard work, constantly changing and innovating the recipe, before he was able to come up with the perfection.

Here's what you can expect from your first visit at Ippudo, Eastwood Avenue...

Ippudo at Eastwood Avenue was quite spacious and was filled with these large chairs and wooden tables, which feels very modern Japanese. You can also opt to sit at the high chairs right in front of their open kitchen if you're curious to see the chefs expertly whip up a perfect bowl of ramen. 

The Seafood Okonomiyaki (Php 295) is Ippudo's take on the classic Japanese pancake - stuffing it with cabbage, squid chunks, and topped with delicious shrimp. I'm a sucker for seafood (as you all probably know by now) so I found this dish to be delicious - nicely seasoned with salt and a bit of sweetness. The seafood flavor really comes to life as you bite into this soft, juicy Japanese delight. It's drizzled with Ippudo's shio dare sauce and Japanese mayonnaise on top for a kick of sweet and salty.

Fair warning, the seafood okonomiyaki can be really hot the moment it hits your table to make sure it's cool enough to eat before you even attempt putting it into your mouth. You might burn your tongue! Breaking it up into bite-sized pieces helps!

The Akamaru Special (Php 495) is made with Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth but is enhanced with they blended miso paste and a touch of garlic oil. It's served with thin, firm noodles (which is exactly how I like noodles in ramen), slices of pork belly, ajikikurage, and spring onions. If you order the ramen 'special', that really just means you want your ramen to be topped with salted soft-boiled egg, seaweed, and pork belly.

I can't stress how much I love the Akamaru Special, with every sip of Ippudo's special tonkotsu broth making me want to go for another dip. It's the richness of the creamy broth, with every element perfectly seasoned thereby adding so much flavor, that makes this a dish worth spending your hard-earned money on. I probably don't need to say this, but please drop by Ippudo if you haven't already. Your tastebuds will thank me after.

For ramen that's a bit more classic, why don't you try out the more traditional Karaka Ramen. 

The Kuro "Black" Ramen (Php 520) is a limited-edition Ippudo ramen that's said to be 'the darker side of spice' - which just means it has bangs of spicy goodness in it. It's loaded with Ippudo's signature tonkotsu broth, infused with spicy garlic and packed black pepper spices. It's topped with salted soft-boiled egg, seaweed, spring onions, ajikikurage, and akamiso paste for added flavor. The chashu or pork belly is torched to perfection, which adds a bit of smokiness to the dish.

I loved this particular ramen because it has so much flavor from all the spices that's loaded into it. The torched chashu was just beautiful to eat and I had so much finishing up my bowl. This one's perfect for guys who love their barbecue!

Food Quality: 5.0
Service Quality: -
Ambiance: 4.5

Overall Rating: 5.0

You could say Ippudo's ramen is perfection in a bowl. You don't have the option to customize your ramen just like you could at Ramen Nagi, but each bowl of ramen that comes out of their kitchen is just what Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara believes the perfect bowl of ramen should be - with years of innovation to create ramen of the highest quality. It's delicious and will leave you craving for more. 

No wonder the lines are always so long!

For other restaurants you can enjoy in Eastwood City's hot new food strip, Eastwood Avenue, check out 'Look Out! Eastwood Avenue Is Now Eastwood City's Hottest New Dining Destination'. 

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Chef Jay

Ippudo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored review. The author did not pay for any of the dishes mentioned in this article. This, however, does not impair the unbiased opinion of the reviewer. 

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