Every time we pass by Ippudo Ramen at SM Megamall Mega Fashion Fall, we always see a long queue. The line alone easily draws in more interest and attention from the hungry foodie souls in the area. Some people have the patience [of saints] to wait for more than half an hour for their turn to be seated. Regrettably, I’m not one of them, yet I still felt positive that Ippudo Ramen is a place that’s worth a trip on its own merit.
Last week, my boyfriend and I watched Walang Forever in Robinsons Place Manila. After the movie, we went downstairs searching for a restaurant for dinner. My eyes lit up when we found Ipuddo Ramen in the mall—without any queue outside. It was a miracle! 😛 Apparently, this famous hip Japanese restaurant has opened just recently and soon this year it will be branching out to more locations in the Philippines. Happy New Year, btw! 🙂
Review of Ippudo Ramen (Robinsons Place Manila, Ermita)
Ippudo Ramen’s interior design in Robinsons Place Manila looked edgy and functional. It was nothing too fancy, just a straight up restaurant with traditional Japanese decors such as the lanterns and simple furniture. Although it’s tucked away in a busy mall, I was pleasantly surprised that Ippudo keeps an intimate kind of feeling and peaceful atmosphere inside. Splashes of vivid red, white, and black made up a color palette making the restaurant interior exhale a certain sophistication that resonate with its Asian style. Spotlights spread through the area gave an inviting glow. Soup spoons and bowls displayed on the walls reminded me of Ramen Nagi.
Warm hospitality was provided the moment we came in. There’s no annoying movie-star vibe in the no-frills dining room, and service was reliable and friendly. With engaging personality, the staff asked us about our thoughts on each dish and he made sure we had a good time.
For starters, we had a short order of Hakata Style Gyoza (PhP 195, five pieces), Ippudo’s classic pan-fried dumplings. The meat and vegetable-stuffed gyoza had an extra crispy exterior, while its inner skin remained soft. Size was small so each piece fit right into the mouth. It was great with the vinegar soy sauce.
Unagi Rice in Stone Pot (PhP 490) is a winning comfort food, I tell you. The chunks of grilled unagi on top of shredded egg and the bed of sweet soy sauce-based unagi flavored rice were phenomenal. Include this in your stomach’s itinerary next time you plan to dine in at Ippudo Ramen. 🙂
Served on our table with a glimmering sheen of fat on top, the best recommended Akamaru Shinaji Special (PhP 490) was powerful as its taste struck a perfect balance with the rich broth, spices, and the pork belly. With salted soft-boiled egg, the “very hard” delicately bouncy noodles had an al dente bite to them. Topped with “umami dama” miso paste,cabbage, sesame kikurage mushrooms, scallions, and fragrant garlic oil, this ramen bowl of glory is right in my personal wheelhouse.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
Ippudo Ramen is where us noodle junkies can get a proper fix. It gives patrons a run for their money with its memorable ramen and exceptional Japanese offerings. This restaurant is a solid standout with top-end food creations in a setting that’s unassuming relative to the hype. I would love to come back for another foodie adventure with my sister. 🙂