Restaurant: Ippudo

Soy sauce and wasabi flavored ramen noodles topped with wasabi leaves, slices of berkshire pork, menma, fishcake, tempura bits, nori seaweed, and scallions.

I was having a hard time imagining what this Ippudo ramen would taste like. Would the wasabi over power the dish? I was worried the first bite would be heaven, then slowly peter out, the flavors too intense. There was so much going on! But after peppering the waitress with questions, I decided to order it. Tonkotsu ramen is my favorite, so we also ordered that—just in case.

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I was right about the first bite. Heaven! But this ramen was so refined and complex that it was pure pleasure from start to finish. The wasabi didn’t overwhelm the ramen at all, despite my initial hesitation. The waiter suggested mixing the toppings when the bowl arrived because the wasabi leaves have kick and you’ll want to distribute them for less impact.

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Their tonkotsu ramen was also very tasty. The noodles were thinner and cooked to perfection. The flavor of the broth was deep and rich. It was a solid take on a classic tonkotsu ramen. Both this and the new flavors of the wasabi shoyu ramen made my tastebuds sing. It was all perfect.

Everything at Ippudo was beautiful, from the ramen to the decor and lighting (check out the ramen bowls!). The service was flawless—the waiters were really helpful and you could tell they take their ramen seriously. This is an experience I wouldn’t mind shelling out a few extra bucks for.

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Ippudo
65 Fourth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 388-0088

I also want to thank those of you who took the time to vote for my recipe on Food 52. I didn’t win, but hope you’ll have a chance to make Bacon and Shiso Fried Rice. I promise it won’t disappoint! Congratulations to the winning recipe, Shrimp Biryani—it looks amazing!

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3 Comments

  1. Posted December 23, 2009 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I have been there before… I love tonkotsu ramen!

    Happy holidays!! xo

  2. Posted January 8, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    That ramen looks right up my alley. I’ve never seen anything like that over here in any of our Japanese restaurants, but it looks positively delicious. Definitely on my list for restaurants to visit next time I’m in New York.

  3. Posted January 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Mike, hope you get a chance to make it out there. I’ve been doing some research in the So Cal region and am hoping to try Foo Foo Tei in Hacienda Heights and Hakata Ramen Shin Sen Gumi in Gardena some time soon… closer than the east cost!

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