Attention Ramen Lovers: Ippudo Philippines is Now Open in SM Mega Fashion HallSeptember 13, 2014
With all of the franchises entering Manila, it’s getting harder and harder to discern which ones are worth our hard-earned money. Add to that the tons of ramen shops—from abroad or homegrown—and it’s easy to get diner’s fatigue. However, the buzz behind Ippudo, since the first rumors spilled out, hasn’t died down. The world-famous chain has become widely known as one of the foremost makers of the stuff, expanding from its first store in Fukuoka, to New York, Singapore, and now Manila. Open since September 11, 2014, it promises a full ramen experience, without compromising on the qualities it has become known for.
Their menu in Manila will include items such as gyoza and Curry Cheese Harumaki. During the tasting, the most memorable dishes were definitely the Goma Q, cucumber with sesame and pepper that was both refreshing and complex, Dashimaki Tamago, the quintessential sweet Japanese omelette roll with a mentaiko roe dip, and those infamous Ippudo pork buns, with some of the softest steamed buns I’ve ever had, and pork so tender that melt-in-your-mouth seems to be an understatement. Although some menu items differ across branches, with some specific dishes created to cater to the market of the location, Yota Shiiba, Operations Manager of Ippudo Philippines remarked that there was no unique side dish for Manila yet, but there are plans to develop some for the future.
Of course, the ramen is the star of the show, and Ippudo is known for their consistent quality and dedication to delivering the best of their product. Shiiba, trained in Fukuoka and a member of the Ippudo team for several years, will be permanently moving to the Philippines to oversee the Megamall branch and other future branches, ensuring that their ramen will only remain the same.
They maintain the Kahawara tradition of creating their bowls, with careful consideration into what goes into their noodles and broth. Around 70% of their ingredients will be shipped in, and noodles handmade. Their three most famous bases will all be served in Manila—the Shiromaru Motoaji, which is the classic Hakata-style ramen, Akamaru Shin-Aji, a modern style which adds miso paste and garlic oil to their classic tonkotsu broth, and Karakamen, which adds spicy miso, ground pork and garlic oil to the original broth. These are the Ippudo classics, and taste just as they would in their branches abroad, and made this dinner extremely satisfied. Ippudo’s noodles are much thinner than others, so a hard or extra hard texture is the best way to enjoy their thick, meaty broths.
The opening of Ippudo, in spite of all the other countless franchises setting up shop, is a welcome and exciting one. Initially, Ippudo’s flavors are already a top contender in the current line up, and with their detailed plans to ensure the happiness and satisfaction of both their Filipino and Japanese customers, they are here to lay their claim.