Ippudo the most popular Hakata-style Tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen in the world they say, also known as Hakata Ippūdō (博多一風堂) opens their first branch here in the Philiipines, SM megamall. First of all I would like to point out that it is Ippudo emphasis on the double “PP” and the lengthening of the U and O vowels and not “Ipewdough” as I have been hearing people pronounce it. Sorry for hating but it is just plain annoying to hear people say it like Ipewdough. People please.
Ramen is pretty common in Japan. I usually see men coming home from their work and stopping by Ramen places in their business attire and leaving immediately after they finish. We also have a custom of slurping the Ramen and the noodles to show appreciation to the chef for the good taste of the Ramen ( It’s a compliment to the chef). I just didn’t mind the lady in front of my giving me a bad look for slurping my noodles. It even says on the menu that you slurp the noodles. I never get the urge to try Ramen here in the Philippines because it is so hot here. Normally in Japan when the wind is “涼しい” ( Suzushii, like a cool and windy day) and it feels good against your face, you get that feeling that you want to eat Ramen. When you go back out into the cold, you can feel that your face and body are really warm and it feels good to walk outside.
I liked how the restaurant here of Ippudo had a lot of room for individual seating, but I don’t know if that’ll work in Manila. People here love to chat before and after they eat and people in this city love to eat in groups. It is rare that you will see people eating alone in this city. Service is really quick though and I got my Ramen in about 10 mins right after ordering. It is also nice that they ask you for your noodle preference if you want them soft, medium, hard or very hard.
I would say that the Ramen here is okay. Good Ramen but maybe I wasn’t feeling it so much because my mom makes Ramen sometimes at home and it tastes just as good. Also my bowl was so oily when I got it. Ramen is a bit difficult to judge because I have tasted a lot of different kinds of Ramen all over Tokyo since I was a little girl and It’s all really different and a matter of preference. The pork and the soft boiled egg though is what I really loved about the Ramen here. The egg was really nice and perfectly soft boiled and the pork was soft. The broth was okay, I was expecting mild spicy because that is what I ordered but I didn’t get much of spicy? I am still kind of wondering why Ramen is such a big thing here in Manila. Like always, I think that it is just another rave like the milk tea phase a few years ago or frozen yogurt. Unlike in Japan, I would really look for Ramen. There’s just something about the weather and some good Tokyo Ramen . The Ramen we also tried in Sapporo was good. It’s really different I think since maybe they tried to cater to Philippine taste also and the ingredients available here. Still if you really do love Ramen, Its still worth it to come here during a weekday when there is no long line for waiting.
Price Range per person: Ramen here ranges from about Php 375-490. I heard that their pork buns are also good so I would give it a try if I come back here.
3rd Floor SM Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall,
Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City
Tel: (+632) 470-1837
Operating Hours: Daily 10AM to 10PM