Friday, 23 January 2015

Getting a taste of Ramen - Ippudo @ Westfield Sydney

When it comes to Ramen I’m sitting on the fence. I’m not a lover nor am not a hater. Maybe I can be described as more of a liker of the famous Japanese noodle soup. I just don’t understand the love affair that others have. The addiction that leaves devotees eyes rolling into the back of their heads just at the mere thought of a bowl of this noodle soup. I’ve tasted it many times to try and understand it. I always come away saying 'meh', 'it's okay' or it's comforting and warm and nourishing......but I don’t 'get it'. The hype of it that is. Saying that I could eat Vietnamese pho until my eyeballs were swimming.

A while back things changed slightly. On my first visit to Ippudo I remember feeling a little bit ‘nervous’ – was I going to enjoy this? Was I just going to come away with the ‘meh’ factor again?

So I had a bowl of the Karaka men. It’s a spicy miso tonkotsu (meaning pork bone broth) ramen and it was good. Very good. The broth was layered with flavours and the noodles were perfectly medium cooked. A little bit of spring left in the noodle. I also indulged in the gyoza, which were very tasty and had a good porky filling.

.....and I finally starting to understand what the hype was about. Okay, so it didn’t convert me but it definitely persuaded me that there was more to this bowl of soup than I first thought and it is worth investigating.

This week, I was lucky to win a $40 voucher for Ippudo Sydney from the Matsuri competition that was recently run through Washoku Lovers. I couldn’t wait to head back to discover more ramen delights.

Dining with a friend we decide to share a few dishes. We go with the Karaka men again (which I only realised afterwards that it was the same as my previous visit).  The steaming bowl arrives with a good spoonful of the spicy miso and ground pork on top scattered with shallots and peanuts. There are two slices of roast pork that are tasty with a small slither of gelatinous fat through the middle. Our noodles are medium that still have a bit of chew to them. I like the texture of medium cooked noodles.

A plate of mixed steamed buns (one of each on offer), which comprise of a braised pork, a deep fried shrimp and a chicken steamed bun all with the special sauce. The steamed buns are soft and chewy in texture and wrapped around a good amount of filling. I couldn’t say that I had a favourite, they all tasted good in their on protein based way.

Lastly we have the seared salmon temari sushi – which is ball shaped sushi, with seared salmon wrapped around it.  It also has mentai mayo sauce and avocado. Mentai is cod roe.

These pop straight into the mouth (albeit a full one) and leave me wanting more.

Ippudo seems to be buzzing at any time of the day and I’m starting to realise why. Have I boarded the ramen train late….I don’t think so…I am definitely starting to enjoy it more and more… much so that I have booked in a lunch for next week!

Hold that last's only been 3 days and a friend has discovered they do a vegetarian ramen, so I find myself back there today.  I'm not feeling like a big bowl of ramen so I opt for something completely different.

I go with the gyoza, which is served with a yuzu flavoured paste.  Crispy bottoms and light wrappers make for a good bite. 
I also go with the tofu and spicy pork hotpot which came to the table bubbling in a mini cauldron!

It was delicious!

My friend loved her Shojin ramen...and yes we will both be back next week...for realz!

Ippudo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No comments:

Post a Comment