Thursday, August 1, 2013

Ippudo HK: A Must Go Ramen Restaurant Chain

Having tried a lot of ramen places here in Manila, a lot of people have been telling me to try Ippudo (一風堂) when we get to Hong Kong. According to Wikipedia, this Japanese restaurant chain started in Fukuoka, Japan in 1985. The name, which literally means "One Wind Hall" was because there were dark clouds over the Kyushu ramen industry and the founder CEO Kawahara wanted to "blow wind to revolutionize this era." It was not until 2008 that it expanded to the other side of the globe and opened its first overseas branch in New York. It started to become more and more popular and eventually opened stores in Asia - Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong.
Ippudo in Chinese Characters - and it literally means "One Wind Hall"
Since it was our first time to try this restaurant out, we were all very excited but didn't realize that it was past 9pm when we arrived Silvercord. What surprised me more was that there was still a long line of diners waiting for their turn to be seated. I saw this small black machine by the reception table and so I took a closer look - an automated queuing machine! We slowly looked at how it works (good thing language can be changed to English) and finally got our number. We were number 328 and at that time, they were serving 280+.

Hungry and tired that we were, we opted to stay as we have been looking forward to trying Ippudo's ramen. We waited for more or less 40 minutes and finally, our number was called.
Their Automated Queuing System
All the wait staff greeted us as soon as we entered (too bad we didn't understand them). What I loved about their interior is that it was very warm and cozy. What I also noticed is that even though the restaurant is packed with people, they made sure that diners are seated comfortably - arrangement of tables and chairs are not crowded.

As soon as we were seated, we were given the menu and in just 3 minutes, all of us was ready to order. I got the Shiromaru Motoaji and I added an order of their soft-boiled egg as ramen would never be complete without ajitama. It didn't take them long to serve our orders and what I liked about it was even if there were 6 of us who ordered different varieties, they more or less served the ramen simultaneously. 

Their ramen was really good as there is consistency in the preparation of the noodles and the broth had a distinct yummy flavor. The slices of pork was actually good as there was not much fat compared to the  "char siu" slices of other ramen restaurant chain.  
Shiromaru Ramen with Flavored Soft Boiled Egg
Husband on the other hand ordered Ippudo Karaka as this was recommended by their wait staff, he loved it very much as the spice added more flavor to the ramen. We also found out later on that this spicy ramen is one of their best-sellers.
Ippudo Karaka
They have been very consistent in the preparation of their soft-boiled egg. Not all ramen restaurant chains can actually perfect this (some actually overcooks it resulting to hard-boiled egg) and I consider Ippudo to have one of the best ajitamas in town.

Ippudo complete menu:

Although it was already late when we finished, we were very much satisfied with visiting Ippudo. I do hope they get to open one soon in Manila but if not, we highly recommend you to visit this ramen restaurant chain!

Ippudo Hong Kong is located at 
Shop No. 20, 2nd Floor, Silvercord,
30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Operating Hours: 11:30 am to 11:00 pm (Monday-Sunday)

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