Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ippudo - Singapore's Best Ramen?

Why do we like ramen so much? Is it because that the Japanese-style ramen has its roots in noodle soup from China? Whatever the reason, there are dozens of ramen chains around, of which Ippudo is King - it's the largest ramen chain in the world! With such solid credentials, there's no way the darling and I can pass it up, so we head over to the Mandarin Gallery on Orchard Road to queue. Yes, to queue. Like every other half decent eatery there will be a queue - Ippudo's is about 30 to 40 minutes for a weekday dinner.

We're finally seated, and notice that privacy isn't one of the selling points of the restaurant. There are too many big tables and too few small ones, so the bigger tables are pretty much communal tables with multiple groups of two or three. Small matter, though. We start off with the Gyoza (SGD6.00) which is ... decent.

On to the ramen! Ippudo's customization angle is that you can choose how well done you want your noodles - soft, hard, or in between. Personally I like mine medium. Anyways my order is the seasonal Spicy Black (SGD18.00), which is a tonkotsu and miso based broth with chili oil and black pepper to add that spiciness "kick." Tonkotsu is considered a very strong/flavorful broth, and the addition of all the other ingredients can give you a flavor overload if you like your soups a bit more "clear," but otherwise it's delicious!

The darling has the Akamaru Kasaneaji (SGD17.00 after adding an egg). This, too is a tonkotsu base soup blended with miso and is also quite a strong flavor, with nice thin noodles and a slice of pork belly.

Overall we find Ippudo possibly the best we've tried so far in Singapore; however the quantity of the noodles and toppings borders on the ridiculous (one slice of chashu and one slice of pork belly for each bowl respectively. One!) Other minus points would be the noise & lack of privacy, and having to queue for the better part of an hour.

In any case, if you're in a mall around Somerset MRT station and find yourself hankering for some slurpy noodle goodness, I don't know of any better ramen shop in the area.

Ippudo is in the Mandarin Gallery, which is the shopping arcade of the Mandarin Orchard Hotel. Non-halal.

Our Ramen Rankings:
Superb!: Ippudo & Santouka
Delicious!: Nantsuttei, Tampopo & Keisuke Tonkotsu King
Solid: Shin-Sapporo, Keisuke, Gantetsu, Gensuke, Riki, Ikkousha & Bario
Below Average: Marutama, Menya Musashi & Menya Iroha

1 comment:

  1. i've not been to ippudo, but i keep hearing great things about it! definitely gonna be one of my first stops if i'm in sg :D