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Ippudo Ramen


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#1 lovelynugget

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 11:10 PM

I can't have been the first MFer to get there, but I will gamely put up first review.

A stop for lunch, and a good time to go with the room only about a third filled. Eater reports that weekend dinner waits were at 2.5 hours. Quite ridiculous.

An attractive room, a bit poncy for a noodle joint. They are really on top of things, as someone not only opened the front door for me and led me into the interior, but I was greeted by boisterously loud shouting from entire staff. Made me jump a bit. A lot of bigger communal tables with three booths against one wall.

Menu is pretty short. There are some bits and nibbles, but the main offerings are 3 versions of ramen: the Shiromaru with a white pork broth, a variation of the Shiromaru (don't quite remember) and the Akamaru, which has a garlicky red broth. I got the lunch special, which comes with choice of ramen, a small side bowl of rice with either pork topping or cod roe topping, and a very small dish of pickled veggies.

The Shiromaru ramen certainly is unlike any of the other ramens I've had in NY. Toppings are quite bare: two slices of pork, a bit of cabbage, some woody stem-like vegetable and a bit of green onion. The waiter put a pepper grinder and a sesame seed grinder in front of me, so ok, might as well. The noodles are firm and toothsome, but thin, like vermicelli. Supposedly they make them in-house. They don't give you very much in the bowl, but you can order extra for $2. I recommend you do if ramen is all you're eating.

The broth, of course, is the kicker, milky with an intense pork flavor. And I mean intense... pork... flavor. Quite delicious, but talk about a salt bomb. I'm not particularly sensitive to salt, but I was reaching for water every other bite. Still, it does kick the asses of all the other ramen broths I've had in NY. Damn, that was porky. Drank every drop.

The rice thing was a little odd. A dab of cod roe with mayonnaise, shredded lettuce, nori on top of rice. Ehh.

Pickles -- it was 3 pieces of vegetables on a tiny tiny plate. [shrug]

Of course, now it's been 4 hours since, and I've been drinking water this whole time and I've got one of those weird headaches that comes from either 1) too much salt or 2) too much MSG. I'll get over it soon enough, but I will probably dream of pig tonight.


PS. Can someone grab those few posts from the Naruto Ramen thread and attach my post to it? Thanks.

#2 Wilfrid1

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Posted 09 April 2008 - 02:10 PM

Thanks for the report, although I confess the ramen craze remains a complete mystery to me. A bit like cupcake frenzy. My loss, no doubt.
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#3 StephanieL

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 03:29 PM

I went last night; an unfortunate bit of timing I suppose, given that it had just received a review in $25 and Under that day. I did manage to get a seat at the bar, in front of all the shouting chefs who were making the non-ramen dishes. I had the Akamaru, which is basically the Shiromaru with an added blob of garlicky red something, with an extra of cured egg (you can also get braised pork, as well as more noodles). And yes, the broth was salty and incredibly rich, even richer than the broth in the ramen I had at Momofuku Noodle Bar when it first opened. I only had the ramen and was fine with the amount of noodles it contained.

The non-ramen dishes looked and smelled really good; I'll have to give them a try sometime.

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#4 Stone

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 04:38 PM

Where is it?

#5 Daisy

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 04:39 PM

Fourth Avenue between 9th and 10th, east side of the avenue. Right near the fabulous dry cleaner. A hop and a skip for you.
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#6 Stone

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 04:40 PM

That explains the people loitering about.

#7 nuxvomica

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 02:04 AM

porky lunch over the weekend - soy braised pork belly & daikon, followed by ramen (we tried both the Shiromaru & Akamaru) with extra pork belly. rich porky broth, the red paste in akamaru gives it a somewhat appealing taste but it does kill the porkiness. i enjoyed most of the shiromaru and then added the red paste towards the end for a different flavor.

plenty of families on a Sat. afternoon. our wait was 15 min. but it quickly grew to about an hour after 2pm
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#8 Sneakeater

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Posted 14 July 2008 - 02:58 PM

The lines having died down, I finally went to Ippudo late Saturday night.

It's hard to judge places serving food you know nothing about.

I had the "modern" ramen (which is basically the traditional with the addition of miso and garlic).

I can say that the ramen I had here makes the Momofuku Noodle Bar ramen look gross. It makes the Mechenko-Ti ramen look third-rate. I'm not even going to compare it to the ramen-with-spam specialties I cooked up in college.

I also had a "salted pork" dish. Another variation on our old friend bacon! More bacon for everybody!

I liked this food. I wouldn't go out of my way for it. And I wouldn't wait hours for it. Now you apparently no longer have to.
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#9 Sneakeater

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 08:29 PM

Those clam chowder ramen are some good stuff.
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#10 Wilfrid1

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 02:35 PM

I have been lazy about posting reports of meals recently. I am not a habitual eater of ramen; probably haven't eaten it in three years or so. But I was in the neighborhood, it was early, the line hadn't yet formed for tables, so I tried Ippudo.

Pork buns were spicy; okay, but not as rich and distinctive as the Momofuku model. Croquettes were good - crisp outside, creamy in, with a halved edamame on top for decoration. I tried the "modern" ramen, which is darker than the traditional. A bit mean on the pork, I thought - I guess you can order extra. The broth was very flavorful and smooth. For me, it was overwhelming after I'd been eating for a while. But then I am not a ramen fan. The portion is vast too, and I couldn't get anywhere near finishing it.

Here's my question, then: is it usual for ramen bars to refuse to pack leftovers for you? They wouldn't do it here. Mildly annoying.
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#11 prasantrin

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:50 PM

QUOTE(Wilfrid @ May 19 2009, 11:35 PM) View Post
Here's my question, then: is it usual for ramen bars to refuse to pack leftovers for you? They wouldn't do it here. Mildly annoying.


While I can't speak to NYC ramen shops, those in Japan never do take-out or doggy bags.

What did you have that was left over? I can't imagine having leftovers at Ippudo in Japan--not a lot of food in those servings, but NYC servings may be larger.

#12 Wilfrid1

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:51 PM

The bowl of ramen seemed bottomless.

I guess my question is really about ramen bars in New York, where doggie bags are standard practice.
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#13 Orik

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:18 PM

QUOTE(Wilfrid @ May 19 2009, 10:35 AM) View Post
I have been lazy about posting reports of meals recently. I am not a habitual eater of ramen; probably haven't eaten it in three years or so. But I was in the neighborhood, it was early, the line hadn't yet formed for tables, so I tried Ippudo.

Pork buns were spicy; okay, but not as rich and distinctive as the Momofuku model. Croquettes were good - crisp outside, creamy in, with a halved edamame on top for decoration. I tried the "modern" ramen, which is darker than the traditional. A bit mean on the pork, I thought - I guess you can order extra. The broth was very flavorful and smooth. For me, it was overwhelming after I'd been eating for a while. But then I am not a ramen fan. The portion is vast too, and I couldn't get anywhere near finishing it.

Here's my question, then: is it usual for ramen bars to refuse to pack leftovers for you? They wouldn't do it here. Mildly annoying.


I guess they figure by the time you get home it's going to look like:

Oil
-------------
Salt Water
-------------
Dough

Not very appealing.
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#14 porkwah

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:18 PM

QUOTE(Orik @ May 19 2009, 03:18 PM) View Post
QUOTE(Wilfrid @ May 19 2009, 10:35 AM) View Post
I have been lazy about posting reports of meals recently. I am not a habitual eater of ramen; probably haven't eaten it in three years or so. But I was in the neighborhood, it was early, the line hadn't yet formed for tables, so I tried Ippudo.

Pork buns were spicy; okay, but not as rich and distinctive as the Momofuku model. Croquettes were good - crisp outside, creamy in, with a halved edamame on top for decoration. I tried the "modern" ramen, which is darker than the traditional. A bit mean on the pork, I thought - I guess you can order extra. The broth was very flavorful and smooth. For me, it was overwhelming after I'd been eating for a while. But then I am not a ramen fan. The portion is vast too, and I couldn't get anywhere near finishing it.

Here's my question, then: is it usual for ramen bars to refuse to pack leftovers for you? They wouldn't do it here. Mildly annoying.


I guess they figure by the time you get home it's going to look like:

Oil
-------------
Salt Water
-------------
Dough

Not very appealing.


Yes, but I bet you could make decent ramen from those ingredients.

Ippudo is my favorite lunch spot these days. Since NYU got done I haven't had to wait for a seat.

man, i need a headache


#15 Stone

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Posted 27 May 2009 - 03:57 PM

Putting aside ambiance and I guess some depth in the menu, is Ippudo that much better than the other ramen/soup places on and about 8th street?