Every time we've attempted to eat at Ippudō there has been a massive line out the front. Today day is a bit different the line is acceptable! As I wait at the back of the line my partner asks the hostess for a table for two and then immediately signals me over to go straight into the restaurant. Dining for two has its perks! When we enter we are greeted with loud welcome chants by all the staff. There is an overwhelming amount of chefs and waitpeople in the restaurant who are constantly welcoming customers every few minutes. But this also makes it atmospheric and I'm eager to look at the menu and dig into their famous ramen!
Their menu isn't too ambitious, which means they are sticking with what they know and excelling at it. I am in ramen mode and only have eyes for it, forgetting they make anything else. I go for the shiromaru motoaji ($15.00) and my partner chooses the akamaru shinaji ramen ($16.00). I look at other diners' ramen as I wait anxiously for mine!
|White pepper, black pepper and sesame seeds|
|Shiromaru motoaji ramen, $15.00|
The soup is delicious! I enjoy soup bases that aren't too salty or rich in flavour so this is perfect for me! It's so light that it almost tastes like a chicken based soup. It's also nice and hot, which is essential! I grind some sesame seeds into my soup and it takes it to the next level. It is fragrant and adds a nutty flavour. The ramen noodles are soft and their texture is in between soba and egg noodles. I think I prefer the ramen noodles that are served at Ryo's in North Sydney, as they are chewy with more of a bite. But the broth is on close par. The pork loin slices are lean, which I enjoy much more than the pork that has rings of fat. The wood-ear mushrooms have good crunch but perhaps more veg would balance the amount of carbs. The bowl of ramen is rather deceiving as it looks small but is actually quite big and I can't even finish it!
|Akamaru shinaji ramen, $16.00|
When the akamaru shinaji ramen comes out we are told to mix the miso paste into the soup. I take a spoonful and it is very rich but I know this is perfect for my partner. He has a taste of my shiromaru motoaji and thinks it's a bit bland. We made the right choices for ourselves! I ask him how the nitamago (seasoned soft boiled egg) is, and he tells me it's more hard boiled but still good. I let him enjoy his ramen while i do the same with mine and feel very accomplished that we finally got to try Ippudō.
It may be the most talked about restaurant in Sydney at the moment but I think diners should go to North Sydney's Ryo's and compare the ramen. There is almost always a line there, but the intimate and authentic setting of the ramen house and the thick rich soup is unbeatable. I'm glad we saw what all the fuss was about at Ippudō and will definitely need to try their pork bun as it did not even process in my head to get it until I saw another diner eat it. There may be long lines but they have a takeaway option during lunch time which means there are ways to work around the queues to get a taste of the mighty Japanese ramen empire!
Shop 5021, Level 5
188 Pitt Street,