Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ippudo Ramen - Malaysia

Ippudo has now officially opened it's doors in Malaysia, starting with their 1st outlet at Pavilion.

Situated on the fourth floor of Pavilion tucked in the corner of the outer parts, the illuminated sign "Hakata Ippudo" brightly lits up with what seems to be a reception area outside for staff to welcome it's customers in.

If you've not heard of Ippudo, it's a Ramen shop outlet that that was founded in 1985 at Hakata, Japan's ramen capital and had since gone international starting in 2008.

A day before the grand opening of Ippudo in Malaysia, I get to taste first hand on how's the ramen is like and some appetizers to boot. I've tried ramen in Japan before but only at the Yokohama area which aren't famous for ramen and so to me, that one was only so-so.

Upon entering, I really get the spirited and motivated Japanese greeting of "Irrashaimase" which means "Welcome" and a great Japanese feel to it (probably because most ARE Japanese!) unlike most Malaysian Japanese restaurants which implements this greeting thing too but don't really sound proper but rather kinda like being shouted upon or they do it half-heartedly. LOL. (This is what I noticed way back in 2005 and things still haven't changed much in my perspective)

Anyway, inside, the ambiance is much like their Singapore outlets design with a big seating table in the middle and some booths at the side and some bowls and spoons decorated at the walls.
Also a bar at the ramen station.
Also interesting to me of them having a chair where it contains a box to put your bag underneath so that it won't get in your way. But remember to take back your belongings if you plan to use it!
Before starting, I had hot green tea to quench my thirst. Had a whole pot to myself:
The green tea had a unique taste to it. It tasted a bit sweet as you sip into it. It tasted like some honey was added to it but I'm not entirely sure.

So then onwards with the first appetizer being served. It's called the Goma Q:
Normally, I don't like cucumbers because some stalls serve really bitter cucumbers plus it's taste is not exactly what I would enjoy but somehow the combination of the sauce blended well with the refreshing feel of the cucumber in this appetizer made it one of my favorite.

The next appetizer that was presented to us are the Crispy Corn:
Corn that has a crispy crunch to it with seaweed seasoning on top.

This other appetizer is called the Curry Cheese Haru Maki:
It's spring roll served with the curry cheese sauce.

The Pork Bun is also one of my favorite appetizer here:
Maybe it's because I love pork! LOL.
2 other appetizers left for our consumption were the Spicy Shrimp Mayo:
and the Hakata-style Soup Gyoza:
I'm also not a fan of shrimps but the Spicy Shrimp Mayo is acceptable to my taste buds and as for Gyoza, anytime's a good time for Gyoza to me!

For ramen, there are basically 3 types which differs in the soup that they're served in.
They are Shiromaru, which are served in a white bowl:
  Akamaru, which are served in a red bowl:
 and Karaka-men, spicy noodles where they put in a red & black bowl.
Shiromaru is with Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth with chashu, bean sprouts, kikurage (a kind of mushroom) and spring onions.

Akamaru is with Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth that's enhanced with special blended miso paste and garlic oil. The rest of the ingredients are the same.

The Karaka-men is with Ippudo's original tonkotsu broth with spicy miso paste and ground pork.

All 3 versions also has the combination with Tamago (egg), Chashu or the special which contains both and seaweed.

We were also educated not to let the noodle 'sit in' too long and to eat it when it's served as it diminishes the taste of the noodle.

Intrigued by this, I tasted the one that had been at my table for more than 5 minutes and one that they brought in immediately. To me, there really was a difference in the noodles taste. The noodles are more springy when it's served and goes well with the hot soup in contrast to one that had been left for awhile where the noodles will be way soggier and the soup not as hot and tasty as eating it when it's served.

When I was in Japan, I didn't had a chance to taste these tasty ramen (the one in Yokohama doesn't count because it's only so-so) and now with the opening of Ippudo, I would say that I would definitely come back for it if ever I craved for ramen.


FurFer said...

Hmm... Read the news about it. Seems like it is a good place for Ramen XD

Kelvin -KtheBlogger- Tan said...

Yeah, I like the ramen there. :D