It has been ramen craze the last few years with so many ramen restaurants popping up over London. Towards the end of 2014, London was welcome by Ippudo and I was full of excitement when I first saw this building and the word “Ippudo”.
For those who is wondering way my excitement, it’s because Ippudo is from Japan and can be found in many countries worldwide, including Hong Kong, Australia and Singapore. It was actually in Hong Kong when I first visited Ippudo and enjoyed one of their tasty bowl of ramen broth.
Being Internationally world known, it is not surprising that there would be a queue. But at least the restaurant is not as small as Kanda-Ya which is just on the opposite side of the road. The queueing system is fairly good having a no booking policy. You put you name in to a queue and then they will text you when the table is ready. This will allow you to grab a drink at the nearby pubs or bars.
Me and my friends decided to stay around and enjoyed a bottle of Saka at the bar in Ippudo. Not long after our first glass our table was ready on the top floor.
Ippudo London menu is not the same as the one I have seen in Asia. But then each country will have menu with dishes that has been created to suit the market of each country.
The ramen selection is small, with six different types of ramen to choose (three in pork broth and three in a vegetarian broth).
I ordered the classic ramen, Hakata Shiromaru Classic 白丸元味 (£10). This is ramen in tonkotsu port broth servbed with pork chashu, kikurage mushroom, beansprouts and spring onions.
If you want a bit more exciting then you could try either the “Karaka” Spicy Men からか麺 or the Akamaru Modern 赤丸新味. Both cost £11 each and comes with a slice of pork chashu.
The Akamaru Modern (shown below) was more of a popular choice on our table. This has the tonkotsu pork broth that is in the classic but with the additional of garlic oil and Ippudo’s secret Unami Dama paste.
Note that the egg you see in the photo of the Akamaru Modern ramen is extra.This is a seasoned boiled egg which you need to add £1.50 on top of your ramen.
Like many ramen places, Ippudo has a list of ramen toppings you can add to your bowl. The one I want to share with you is the Curry Ball (£2.50), which is great with the Hakata Shiromaru Classic. This is like curry paste which turns a classic pork broth in to curry broth and you only need to order one to share unless you prefer a strong curry broth.
Along with your ramen or to start you meal, Ippudo has a range of small plates that can be ordered. One typical dish at a ramen restaurant has to be Gyoza (£5).
We also tried the Tori Kara-Age (£7), which is Japanese fried chicken.
A dish of the menu which more likely as a British inspiration is Fish & Chips (£9). This was beer marinated fried black cod and chips, served with pickles, vinagear and wasabi tatart sauce. This dish was defintely not as impressive as the one Koya used to served, which came with lotus root chips instead of the typical chips. I was looking for some thing smilair with more Japanese influence but unfortunately did get it with Ippudo version.
You can end a meal at Ippudo with just a ramen or if you still want to complete it with a dessert then there are some on the menu.
Match Masca (£5)
Fruits Anmitsu – a tradition Japanese dessert that contains cube agar jelly and fruits. But I have never had served in alcohol or ramune soda. I was really tempted to get an alcohol version of the fruits anmitsu but I was already on Sake that I choice the soda instead. I have to say it was interesting and inspired me to do this with my fruits at home.
So does Ippudo London live up to the standard that I had in Hong Kong and Singapore? It is definitely better than Singapore but not as good as Hong Kong. However, the broth at Ippudo is so far my favourite in London.
Central Saint Giles,
(Near to Tottenham Court Road Station)