I’ve been told by a journalist friend that I should try Ippudo, a ramen restaurant that opened a few months ago at the newly revamped Mandarin Gallery. Frankly, the prospect of a comforting hot bowl of ramen and a free steam facial along with it seemed too hard to resist, so Nick and I decided to visit Ippudo for a Saturday lunch.
The local branch of a popular ramen chain in Japan, Ippudo offers only two soup bases – Shiromaru – a white broth that is packed with collagen from boiling pork bones for almost a day – and Akamaru – a savory red soup made with red miso and black garlic oil.
With collagen at stake, I chose Shiromaru ($15, without an additional egg or pork belly).
This delightful broth exuded a delicate sweetness from pork bones. Unfortunately, the sharp aftertaste of pickled ginger was too overwhelming on the palate, negating the beautiful broth.
The noodles too were not as good as I had imagined. Having chosen “medium” noodles (instead of hard or soft), I found the strings of flour a little too chewy in the beginning and a little too limp at the end for my liking. Perhaps I wasn’t slurping my noodles fast enough, unlike Nick who wolfed down his noodles in no time and opted for extra noodles (which according to him, cost $2++ for 30 cents worth of mee kia). 😛
Perhaps what led to such disappointment was the anticipation of a new and great ramen haunt. There are many ramen places in Singapore but not many that live up to my food-snobbing ways.
With Santouka at Central still reigning on my list of ramen restaurants and the long queue at Ippudo (I reached at 11.50am on Saturday and the queue was so long, I almost stepped into Lawry’s), this ramen is not filling my bowl anytime soon.
Ippudo is located at:
Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Road, #04-02/03/04
Tel: 6235 2797 (no reservations allowed)