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