Ippudo West was one of the places I absolutely had to go to before leaving the city. I had been to Ippudo in the East Village before, and had the best ramen soup of my life, so I was curious to check out the westside version. Plus, since we were moving back to Florida, I didn’t think it would be very likely I’d find any ramen noodle soup joints around 🙁 .
I brought the hubby (who is a ramen newbie) with me, and we were lucky to get seats at the bar after only about a 10 minute wait. We had a great view of the open kitchen from here, and the bar made it seem more authentic. I knew P would not be satisfied with just the ramen soup so we started off with a couple of meaty appetizers.
In my opinion, you can’t go to Ippudo without getting the Hirata Buns, we went for the pork of course, and they were just as delicious as I remembered them. Biting into a bun is like biting into a soft pillowy cloud, and the salty and fatty flavorful pork just melts in your mouth. The spicy sauce gives it a little bit of a kick, and you have a party for your tastebuds.
Next we tried the Pork Teppan which was a seared pork tenderloin with bacon, on a bed of grilled ramen noodles. The jalepeños and tangy onion sauce gave it a nice sweet and spicy flavor, and I loved the presentation on the little sizzling skillet.
We also went for the Hirata Chicken Wings glazed with Ippudo’s special black pepper sauce. These were incredibly tasty wings with an amazing crunch, and a good bit of heat but not so much that it was overpowering. Even P was able to enjoy them without his mouth being on fire! 🙂
Finally on the ramen! I got the Akamaru Modern, a bolder version of the “Tonkotsu” (pork) broth, thin noodles, Ippudo’s secret “Umami Dama” miso paste, pork chashu, cabbage, sesame kikurage mushrooms, scallions and fragrant garlic oil. I also added the Nitamago – the soft boiled egg, which to me is the perfect addition to this hearty soup. The soup was delicious, the noodles were cooked perfectly, and the savory pork broth along with the miso paste made for a wonderfully satisfying dish. Now I must say, that when I went to Ippudo last time, they had a special ramen soup that they were featuring, it was called the Kogashi Miso Ramen, and that was the best ramen I had ever had in my life.
P got the Shiromaru Hakata Classic, the original “Tonkotsu” (pork) broth with Ippudo Westside’s signature Dashi; thin noodles topped with pork loin chashu, sesame kikurage mushrooms, menma, red pickled ginger, and scallions. Since it was his first experience eating real ramen (as opposed to the 10¢ ones you find at the grocery store), he was pretty impressed. He added the Pork Belly since he loves his meat! I did have a spoonful of his broth, and I found it to be more subtle in flavor than mine was, but still good.
I was thoroughly pleased by Ippudo’s westside version, although I will say that the original one has a cooler look to it. The decor here is more minimalistic, but the food is certainly not! Excellent option for the west siders who don’t feel like trudging all the way down to the East Village.
Ippudo West | www.ippudony.com | 321 W. 51st Street