The story of Ippudo dated back in 1985 from its first outlet in Japan with just a seating capacity of 10. Ever since, the name has grown to 49 outlets in Japan, 1 in New York and 2 in Singapore. This outlet here in UE Square is the 2nd outlet in Singapore with the collaboration of Tao, the renowned Japanese Drum Group after its first branch at Mandarin Gallery.
I like the ambiance which transports one's soul to Japan with its play of black, red and wood colours. It evokes a sense of passion, the very same passion that those chefs have to prepare the best bowl of ramen to its customers. For your info, Ippudo was also the first to refer to broth by color, Shiro (white) and Aka (red), which soon became a standard industry practice. And till today, Shiromaru and Akamaru continue to helm as Ippudo’s signature ramen.
For starters, Ervin ordered a plate of Ippudo Pan Fried Gyoza, which he insists that I have to try. At that time, I was thinking to myself wondering what's so special about Gyoza? It's served everywhere at the Japanese restaurants. However, it did turn out to be something special. When the dish came, it looked to me what we called an "Apam balik" where there's a layer of crispy flour and egg batter. When you turn the crispy layer over, there's 6 pieces of chicken meat dumplings attached to it. The dumpling didn't appeared to me as pan fried as it tastes like it has been steamed but the bottom has been lightly pan seared together with the crispy layer. I like the contrasting textures that did not sacrifice the juiciness of the dumplings. MUST-ORDER!
This is also no ordinary agedashi tofu. This is Agedashi Tofu & Karaage No Mizoreni which is the agedashi tofu served with fried chicken karaage and light Japanese sauce. The tofu is no doubt very silky smooth and the fried karaage pairs very well with the subtle flavours of the sauce. Yummy yummy.
I was feeling a little adventurous and decide to try a new way of eating ramen. So, I ordered a bowl of Tsukemen or also known as "dipping noodles". Tsukemen is similar to ramen but the noodles and soup are served separately, where the soup is not added into the noodles. This is one of the traditional ramen styles in Japan where the noodles are served cold, yet the soup is hot. You'll need to dip the noodles into the soup before eating just like how you would eat a bowl of cold soba. I enjoyed this so much that I managed to finish the whole bowl of it all by myself even after the Gyoza and Agedashi Tofu.
The soup for Tsukemen is richer and more concentrated than the usual basic ramen soup so that you get the instant flavours absorbed into the ramen as soon as you dip the thick and smooth noodles into it. Usually the soup will diluted if you soak the noodles in the soup for long. Therefore, this way of eating ensures you get the best broth during the whole process. And to show you're enjoying the ramen, slurp your noodle noisily and don't be afraid that you'll be getting disapproving stares from other patrons. That's the best way to show your appreciation to the chefs.
Ervin had a bowl of Tao Aka Chashu which is actually spicy noodles with simmered pork belly. They used the signature Ippudo tonkotsu broth, which is blended with Japanese fish stock and spicy miso paste. For this ramen, they used the thin curly noodles as opposed to the thick flat noodles which I had for the tsukemen. The soup is very flavourful due to the pork broth but there's no smell of pork here. It's not very spicy and it's definitely the perfect bowl for a rainy day!
I've finally found a place for a good bowl of ramen in Singapore, all thanks to Ervin who brought me here for lunch. The service was efficient, the noodles were cooked just right and the soup is delicious. The bill came up to about SGD$70+ for the both of us. Yes, it's very expensive ramen but I don't mind splurging on tasty ramen once in a while. To me, this place championed the Hokkaido Santouka Ramen in Pavilion KL.
207, River Valley Road
#01-55/56 UE Square
Tel: +65 6887 5315
Mondays to Thursdays
11.30am-3pm (Last order at 2.30pm)
5.30pm to midnight (Last order at 11pm)
Fridays to Saturdays
11.30am-3pm (Last order at 2.30pm)
5.30pm to 2am (Last order at 1am)
11.30am to 11pm (Last order 10pm)