Ippudo has now officially opened it's doors in Malaysia, starting with their 1st outlet at Pavilion.
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 http://www.ktheblogger.com/2005/10/may-i-help-you.html 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.
So then onwards with the first appetizer being served. It's called the Goma Q:
The next appetizer that was presented to us are the Crispy Corn:
This other appetizer is called the Curry Cheese Haru Maki:
The Pork Bun is also one of my favorite appetizer here:
2 other appetizers left for our consumption were the Spicy Shrimp Mayo:
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 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.