When Ippudo made it's debut in Manila, the lines were crazy long! Their flagship branch was in Megamall and since it's far from home, we never had the chance to try it right away. During the rare occasions that we were in Megamall, I would check Ippudo and back off right away because I'm not willing to wait for about an hour. I thought that they will branch out soon and the craze will die out too.
Just this weekend, we met some friends in my all time favorite mall - Robinson's Place Manila. As we were scanning the mall that has changed a lot since the last time we were there (which was like 2 years ago), we searched for a place to fill our rumbling tummies. After all, it was a little past lunch time. As we got to the Midtown Wing, we passed by Ippudo. There was no line! I needed to stop and check if what I was seeing was true! It was a no brainer. We have never tried Ippudo and that was our chance!
|Ippudo Robinson's Place|
The restaurant was spacious and was excellently lit. Each table had a good amount of lighting, perfect for taking pictures of your orders (wink). We checked their menu and sampled the following --
|Shiromaru Tamago for 405Php|
First order of business - RAMEN! We got the Shiromaru Tamago Ramen which is basically their Shiromaru Motoaji Ramen with a soft-boiled salted egg. We chose our noodles to be very hard, as suggested by the very friendly server, since noodles tend to soften when soaked in the broth. Menu says that this is the classic Hakata Style Ramen. Upon checking what that means via Google, I found out that Hakata is a district of Fukuoka City and this is where the Tonkotsu type of Ramen originated (original article can be found HERE).
And so this ramen has Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth which was rich, flavorful and salty. It was somewhat milky too. It was good. The noodles were thin and hardness was on point. You'll get a nice bite and chew. There were also two pieces of thin pork loin, some bean sprouts, black fungus and spring onions. The Tamago was perfectly cooked - runny and salty, just the way I like it!
|Akamaru Tamago for 420Php|
Since hubby liked the ramen that we got and he needed to share it with me and Cherienne, he asked me to order another bowl so he can have more. But of course the foodie in me would never agree in getting the same bowl so I got their Akamaru Tamago instead. I liked this better than Shiromaru. Let me explain why.
The broth was still Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth but this was made more umami-licious by adding in some miso paste. Then it had some garlic and chili oil too. I liked the strong garlic kick and the mild chili kick mixed into the rich broth. I also liked that they used pork belly here. There was a good portion of fat trimming which made this ramen all the more wicked.
|Unagi Rice in a Pot for 490Php|
I also tried their Unagi Rice. I like Unagi so much. The unique taste of the meat and the characteristic tenderness appeal so much to me. This pot was all the more special since the grilled Unagi was sitting on top of Unagi flavored rice! Whiw! That's double the Unagi goodness. I also liked the shredded egg that broke the monotony of the flavors as well as the special sauce smothered on top of my grilled Unagi. Each spoonful was a pleasant explosion of all things good in my mouth. Sweet, salty, fishy and the tenderness of the meat was nothing but melt in your mouth. It was also a good thing that they included a dollop of wasabi paste that enhanced all the flavors.
Then of course dessert. We got two AMAZING desserts ---
|Black Sesame Ice Cream for 150Php|
Cherienne's pick - Black Sesame Ice Cream. It was so good. If you haven't tried black sesame ice cream, I urge you, go out and get one. It's characteristic bitterness and that strong nutty flavor are just so addicting. This serving included some red bean paste and crunchy wafer. It was thick and creamy and bursting with black sesame goodness.
|Matcha Creme Brulee for 140Php|
My pick - Matcha Creme Brulee. But of course - matchalove! This matcha dessert is worth coming back for. Imagine a rich and creamy custard infused with just the right amount of matcha, topped with torched sugar, vanilla ice cream and more matcha powder! Good heavens! It's sweet and lovely. Loved contrast of the smooth brulee and the crunchy sugar.
|Watermelon Shake for 115Php|
We also got this refreshing Watermelon Shake, as requested by Cherienne.
Aside from the good food served here, their customer service was top notch! It's never easy to dine out with a 1 year old and a very hyper 6 year old. The guy who took our orders kept us under his close watch. He was so quick to clean up when we spilled water, when we needed more tissue, when we needed new chopsticks, extra bowl, extra spoon, etc etc. He explained the menu so well and made recommendations too. And when hubby left for a while to get some pork buns from Tim Ho Wan, Christian (our server) was so quick in assisting me with the kids! I was so impressed!
5 out of 5 Stars for Ippudo!
--- Ippudo : Ground Floor, Pedro Gil Wing, Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita, Manila
***you can also find them here: Third Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City