I first tried out Ippudo in HK at their Silvercord branch and was amazed at their unique queuing system. A couple of weeks ago, Manila welcomed its first Ippudo Philippines branch at the SM Mega Fashion Hall. I got there around 10:30am and was so surprised to find the restaurant half full already. They have a line of chairs in front and to the side to make it more comfortable to wait. Ippudo will not allow you to seat at your table until your party is complete.
I’m ready for my Ippudo Philippines experienced courtesy of the wonderful people from Yabu/Ippudo. I rummaged my t shirt pile and wore my Uniqlo Ippudo Corporate Collab shirt just for the occasion.
This is my pick for the best seats in the house. The design is beautiful and solo eaters can eat in relative peace. You can get to feel the energy and the ordered chaos of the kitchen.
We were seated in the end of the main dining area with communal tables separated by these box like pieces stamped with the Ipuudo name. I think these are the same ones that adorn Yabu’s walls as well as serves as vessels for their appetizers. Ippudo Philippines looks much, much better than the Silvercord branch of Ippudo HK.
Behind us was Ippudo’s ramen production room, the people were hard at work balling up the ramen.
Diners with bags and other things will be happy to use the baskets they thoughtfully provided that fits underneath the seats. No need to be hyper conscious of your belongings since they can only be pulled out in front with metal bars blocking the back of the chair.
Daishimaki Tamago with Mentaiko Mayo (P150). This was rather boring as the warm tamago pieces would be getting its flavor from the mentaiko (spicy fish roe).
Goma Q (P140). This dish looked unremarkable, slices of fresh cucumber sitting in a little oil with some spices on top. I guarantee once you pop a piece in your mouth, you be reaching out your chopsticks to get more. There was just something addictive with the blend of sesame oil, garlic, chili and other spices that will keep you eating and eating.
Curry Cheese Harumaki (P190). My other favorite appetizer was this fried spring roll with minced pork, cheese and curry. The curry kicks this common looking spring roll a few notches and teams up with the cheese and pork for an exciting dish.
Ippudo Philippines will initially serve 3 kinds of ramen only. It’s a good thing I’m eating with friends so we could each order a different bowl and share so we could try them all. You’ll notice that each type of ramen is served in a specific bowl so just seeing the bowl from afar you’ll know what it is.
Shiromaru Motoaji Special (P480, P375/regular) . The original Ippudo tonkotsu broth paired with their ultra thin noodles. The special has tamago, pork belly and seaweed, if you like those then getting the special is a better deal than ordering them individually as extras. I remember Lauren enjoyed this broth two years ago in HK because it’s light and less in you face in flavor. The taste is too basic for me but you can add sesame, garlic and chili to the broth.
Akamaru Shinaji Special (P490, P390/regular). This uses the same tonkotsu broth but enhanced with miso paste and garlic oil. This is for those people who want a more exciting bowl but with just a tad of spiciness.
Both the Akamaru Shinaji and Shiromaru Motoaji come with Ippudo’s Hakata style ultra thin noodles. I was never a fan of the thin noodles (similar to spaghettini) even though we requested it cooked extra hard.
Karaka Special (P490, P390/regular). This is the Ippudo Philippines ramen bowl that I loved. This use wavy noodles which has a different mouth-feel as you slurp it through your lips. It is topped with nikumiso, spicy minced meat and miso paste and fragrant garlic oil and some chopped peanuts. This is their spiciest and most flavorful bowl of ramen, I’d describe it as somewhat similar to tantanmen to an extent but different. The peanuts adds a surprise bit of nutty texture when you encounter it.
Ippudo Teppan Tonkotsu Spicy Rice with Nikumiso (P290). Tonkotsu rice spicy minced pork miso with egg and crispy ramen noodles. Mix it up like the rice dishes at Pepper Lunch and spoon away and feel the heat. This could have been a nice dish if the spiciness was lessened, which I suggested to them. The niku miso is the same one added to the Karakamen but without the benefit of the soup diluting some of the spiciness.
Operations Manager Yota Shiiba will be staying in the Philippines making sure everything runs smoothly.
Ippudo Philippines is a great addition to our ramen scene, it serves it’s own style of ramen together with interesting appetizers and side dishes. I’ve heard a plethora of raves about their pork bun but the demand was so immense that they ran thru 3 months worth of stock. The lines get quite long so you’ll be happy to know that Ippudo Philippines plans to open 5 stores in the next 3 years so satisfy your ramen craving.
Ippudo Philippines3/F, SM Megamall Fashion Hall Edsa cor. Julia Vargas Ave.,
Ortigas, Mandaluyong City,
Metro Manila Contact No. (632) 470-1837 Operating Hours: S-Th – 10am to 9pm F-S – 10am to 10pm
Facebook Page: Ippudo Philippines
Website: Ippudo Ph