I’ve heard heaps of good things about Ippudo – Yvn has previously been to the Sydney branch and my friends went when we were in Japan (albeit without me as I was laying sick in bed), and everyone has raved about how good it is. Unfortunately both times I’ve missed out as well which is a bummer! Thankfully I finally found the time to pay Ippudo Sydney a visit to see what all the hype was about.
Ippudo Pork Bun – $4
We’re visiting on a Monday night this time and although it’s a weeknight, it’s still quite busy with a constant flow of people, but not to the extent of crazy long lines. We kick start our meal with some pork buns which consist of a steamed, soft bun enveloping tenderly braised pork. Biting into it gives you a nice mix of that braised pork flavour along with a creamy mayo which is a delicious combination. The lettuce also adds some texture but otherwise doesn’t do much from a flavour perspective.
David Tofu – $10
The other entree we get is the tofu which has been flash fried, leaving it with a thin crispy outer encasing the silken sofu. It’s served with a chilli radish on top with a thickened agedashi broth. I find that this broth has a jelly like consistency and provides a subtle flavour, but is a bit strange for my liking.
Barramundi Saikyo Yaki – $16
Aside from entrees and ramen noodles, Ippudo also has a nice selection of main dishes and we decide to give the barramundi a go. It’s served in a refined, artistic manner and has fragrant tones of the sweet saikyo miso sauce which it was marinated in. There’s a strong miso flavour and also a subtle wasabi flavour from the sauce on the plate, and is a nice combination to nibble on while waiting for our noodles.
Karaka Men Special – $24
When our noodles finally come out, what strikes me first is the fragrant hot steam rising from the bowl. I get the Karaka Men which consists of a tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso and ground pork. There’s a few variations of this on the menu and I choose the ‘special’ which means I’m also served a side plate of extras (seaweed, bamboo shoots, chashu pork, shallots, bean sprouts and black mushrooms). For the noodles there’s three options (soft, medium, hard), and I choose the hard noodles which taste al dente in consistency. The dish overall is delicious – the pork is soft and full of flavour, as it absorbed the broth which is spicy with a deep tonkotsu flavour, love it!
Spicy Black Chashu – $22
Yvn gets the spicy black ramen which is a winter special (only available after 3pm) that contains miso paste, sesame paste and black garlic oil in a pork broth. It’s also served with pork belly chashu, coriander and bean sprouts, and the result is a spicy and sweet broth with a strong garlic and pepper flavour. It’s quite different tasting to my broth, with more depth of flavour, particularly with the addition of coriander giving it a bit of a twist from standard ramens. Yvn’s noodles were cooked medium, which give them the right mix of chewiness in her books.
Overall I’m quite impressed by my first visit to Ippudo. The ramen broths are packed full of flavour and they also serve up a nice selection of other dishes for those who may want to eat something other than ramen. I particularly love the pork buns and haven’t had anything equivalent to these at another Japanese restaurant before – I’d come back just to grab some of these for a snack!
Excuse Me Waiter dined as guests of Ippudo Sydney
Shop 5021, Level 5, Westfield Shopping Centre (188 Pitt St, Sydney 2000)
Ph: (02) 8078 7020