Visited on the 9th of June 2013
Winter brings with it chills, cold rainy days and the occasional gust of what feels like arctic breezes. But it’s not all bad; we get warm cozy beds, easy sleeps and ramen. Oh yes, it’s that ramen kind of weather! Ipuddo is not native to Sydney; their first restaurant opened in Japan and the brand has expanded to cities across the globe such as New York City, Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur just to name a few. As I’m sure you know, Ippudo is a ramen house serving Japanese cuisine.
As you enter the establishment, you’re enthusiastically greeted by chefs and wait staff exclaiming “irasshai”/“irasshamiase” (which can be translated to “welcome”). This continues throughout your stay as it occurs every time someone enters Ippudo. My friend said this is cultural/common practice in restaurants across Japan.
Whether I’m scrolling through Instagram, food blogs or Facebook, it’s almost a certainty that I will run into a photo or mention of pork buns (there’s a lot of buzz around them!). Although I wish there was a thicker slice of pork, the pork bun here is pretty tasty! At $4 per serving, it’s relatively pricey for a bun but definitely something you should experience at least once.
The prawn bun was a sporadic choice; I felt like trying something different and it was the next item under the pork bun on the menu. It was better than I expected and I actually preferred this over the pork bun. I’m not sure whether I should attribute this to the sauce, my soft spot for prawns or a combination of both :P.
To my knowledge, Tonkotsu is traditionally a pork-based broth. The broth in this ramen dish was really flavourful and warming; the consistency of the broth was pleasant. For those who have been to Ryo’s/Gumshara for ramen, I found the broth more dense than Ryo’s but nowhere as thick as Gumshara. The noodles were a good texture; they had some bite and weren’t clumped.
I know this appears to be a steaming hot bowl of lava, but it’s not as chili as it looks I promise!
If you’re not into spice and chili, this would probably be a better variation for you. Their Tonkotsu broth itself is flavourful without all the spice in Karaka Men. The pork loin was also nice and tender.
Ippudo’s ambiance and environment to me isn’t ideal for a quiet relaxing catch up, this is largely due to the continual greetings of all guests arriving throughout my dining experience. Although the price point is a little steep relative to other ramen houses in Sydney (I do understand the need to offset renting space in Westfield Sydney) the service was friendly and attentive and the food was very enjoyable. I’d be happy to return to Ippudo to satisfy my future ramen cravings or casually meet up with friends over feed.
Level 5, Westfield Shopping Centre
188 Pitt Street