Wherever you go, no matter what country it is, Ippudo will always have a long line of eager people to taste their ramen! Definitely, the ramen craze is strong in the Philippines right now which is why chains have been opening almost everywhere! A few weeks ago, I was finally able to try Ippudo here in Manila on my last visit to Robinson's Place Ermita. Also lucky, no line that time! Read on to see if all the hype was worth it!
No lines brings tears to my eyes. I don't think this could ever happen in their Megamall branch. I also find it quite interesting that it was located right next to Tim Ho Wan which is just as notorious for having insane queues!
The interiors are pretty much the same as any other branch - even abroad! I love how they made the spoons and red bowls on the wall the iconic feature of the restaurant.
I got the Akamaru Shinaji with Tamago (A super slightly salted soft-boiled egg). Before I went to Hong Kong last July, I read up on reviews and this is the one a lot of people recommended. It makes me really happy that wherever you are, the Akamaru Shinaji tastes like it always does: creamy broth with the light fragrance of garlic oil; surprisingly quite balanced. (Eat the egg with the soup! So good!) The best part is despite its slightly oily look, the soup is not overwhelming at all. Even my mom - who has never really liked ramen - would always say that the exception is Ippudo. Haha!
Definitely though, I'm pretty sure all Ippudo branches worldwide could not possibly compare to the real thing you can enjoy in Japan. My friend who's absolutely obsessed with Japan will always remind me how nothing could ever compare to Ippudo in Japan. Siya na talaga. LOL
The restaurant also gave us this free sample of the upcoming "limited edition" dish on their menu, the Gyokai Ramen! Thankfully, just one bowl because all six of us were already super full at the time! Haha!
The Gyokai Ramen uses semi-curly noodles as opposed to the usual soba. It's topped with slices of bamboo, tonkotsu, chives, and a lot of other delicious stuff. The soup is a combination of pork and chicken and feels thicker than the Akamaru Shinaji. In terms of taste, the Gyokai Ramen is definitely salty and creamy. Super perfect for comfort food, especially on a rainy day! However, if I were to choose, I'd still go for the Akamaru Shinaji. Can't go wrong with either though!
It's really no surprise Ippudo is such a hit everywhere. Great food + great place + free Wi-Fi + great service. Such a winning combination that I hope they can keep it up! It was refreshing to see such a proactive staff. (Everyone was so nice and ready to help!) Can't say enough good things!
Ippudo is located at SM Mega Fashion Hall and Robinson's Place Ermita.