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Ippudo Ramen 「一風堂」

December 7, 2009




Most of us love Japanese food and undoubtedly, Ramen is probably one of the most loved Japanese dishes by Singaporeans. However, how many of us truly understand the Japanese noodles we are savoring completely?    


Some interesting facts about Ramen:   

 ·       Until the 1950s, ramen was called shina soba    

 ·       The first ramen museum opened in Yokohama in 1994   

Photo credits to Shinyokohama Ramen Museum 「新横浜ラーメン博物館」        


 Most noodles are made from four basic ingredients: wheat flour, salt, water, and kansui which is essentially a type of alkaline mineral water, containing sodium carbonate and usually potassium carbonate, as well as sometimes a small amount of phosphoric acid.   


  There are 4 main categories of ramen soup:    

1)   Shio (probably the oldest of the four, it is the lightest ramen, a pale, clear, yellowish broth made from plenty of salt and any combination of chicken, vegetables, fish, and seaweed.)   

2)   Tonkotsu (Thick broth made by boiling pork bones, fat, and collagen over high heat for hours on end, suffusing the broth with a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy (depending on the shop).   

3)   Shoyu (Typically a brown and clear color broth, based on a chicken and vegetable (or sometimes fish or beef) stock with plenty of soy sauce added for a soup that’s tangy, salty, and savory yet still fairly light on the palate.   

4)   Miso (a relative newcomer, having reached national prominence around 1965. This uniquely Japanese ramen, which was developed in Hokkaido features a broth that combines copious amounts of miso and blended with oily chicken or fish broth – and sometimes with tonkotsu or lard – to create a thick, nutty, slightly sweet and very hearty soup.   



With that, we shall continue..   


IPPUDO Ramen comes to Singapore!    




   Much has been gushed about the Ippudo Ramen in Tokyo.  Words that the renowned Ippudo Ramen shop opening in Singapore cant possibly escape my ears. A Japanese friend of mine declared Ippudo was one of his favourite after eating his way through many ramen shops in Tokyo and with such a vote of confidence, I had to try this tonkatsu sensation.  




   It was only the shop’s soft launch but mind you, the queue was shocking. This photo was taken at 5.30pm. You should have seen the queue at 8pm. And I thought I was one of the few who had insider information about the shop opening. I was so wrong! The queue was made up of many japanese expatriates. We went there on their Friday but we were too late, the ramen was sold out even before 4pm!  



We also had a brief chat with the manager and she was totally apologetic about the long wait. And she also explained that all their noodles and soup are made in Singapore and was totally glad that we came down again on saturday to have their noodles. 🙂 



 Ippudo is truly your modern-day ramen shop.  




To start off, we had the usual gyoza – They were probably the smallest and cutest gyoza i ever seen. ($7)  ($5) My Japanese friend told me that the gyoza are called Hakata Hitokuchi Gyoza 「一口餃子」meaning bite-sized gyoza.




For the Soft launch, most people will either go for the Shiromaru Motoaji 「白丸元味」or Akamaru Kasaneaji 「赤丸かさね味」 


My Bowl of Ramen – Shiromaru Tamago ($17) 




“Shiromaru” – The original Tonkatsu soup noodles with slices of simmered pork loin, cabbage, kikurage, spring onion and hakata style ramen. 




His Ramen – Akamaru Chashu  



In summary, I appreciated Ippudo’s slender, springy house-made noodles, which manage the trick of having presence and delicacy at the same time. I loved the vaguely and not-so-vaguely cloudy broths of the shiromaru ramen — with its slices of fat-stippled pork and its hints of mushroom and its nutty whispers of sesame. The tate of ramen isn’t just layered and complex, it’s almost murky, but a good murky, and enthralling murkey, the kind of murky in which greedy eaters contentedly lose their way.  And my guy loved the akamaru modern ramen, which takes much of the shiromaru template and adds miso paste and garlic oil, among other accents. The akamaru is thick, almost creamy and altogether sublime.   


The downside of the ramen was probably the price. Not the most value for money meal you would have imagine, but if you are a self-declared ramen noodle agnostic, this is a meal worth the time and money.   🙂



Ippudo Singapore (Mandarin Gallery) 

333A Orchard Road
 #04-02/03/04 Mandarin Gallery 
+65 6235 2797 
11.30am – 11pm  

Their Grand Opening will be on Saturday 12/12/09.

If you can’t wait, you can head there for their dinner launch today. (5pm onwards)

P/S : Their Website is not up yet, probably will be up and ready before their grand opening. 🙂


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