Ippudo

As much as I love him, my dad is a bit of a party pooper. He hates eating out and usually bitches and moans when we do go. Which makes it hard for us when we want to do anything special for him, like on his birthday. Last year I took him to Cafe Sydney and he did not like it. This year, as we reminisced about the failings of the past year, he volunteered the only thing he wants to eat is Japanese ramen. He added he doesn’t want to celebrate his birthday but he’ll go for us. Such is the selflessness of a father’s love.

So I decided to take him to Ippudo, because their soup is not too heavy, oily or salty – all the elements he is likely to complain about. Conveniently, I got to use this opportunity to try other items on Ippudo’s menu, because shamefully, although I have eaten here numerous times, I have never ordered anything else other than the shiromaru ramen. I really enjoyed their buns and seared salmon sushi. So did the old man, because at the end of the meal he said, “Ït’s quite good. I’m slowly beginning to think that ramen is better than pho.” And that, by the way, is the highest praise he has given to any restaurant.

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Pork belly buns $4 – this was the best out of the 3 available fillings. It had a subtle yet delightful roasted flavour. It was quite a lean piece of meat, but with a distinctive flavour of pork fat which enhanced the flavour notch. Everyone who tried this liked it.
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Pork belly bun with the tempura prawn bun $5 behind it. The prawn wasn’t objectionable, but it was certainly forgetful.
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Chicken bun $5 hiding behind the pork belly bun. The chicken was rather disappointing, unless you’re a big fan of chicken teriyaki
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Seared salmon sushi $13 was bite-sized temari salmon sushi served with mentai mayo sauce and avocado. One of the best seared salmon sushis I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating. The thick cut salmon is only very lightly seared (see the colour of the salmon is still very red), which helped it stay super moist and succulent. And that mayo was quite savoury and tasty, which complimented the contrasting sweetness of the salmon and soy sauce. My dad added that he preferred this flavouring to wasabi which can be too strong. I struggle to think of a seared salmon that is better than this (Ok..maybe The Volcano at Sushi Hotaru but that had scallop which gives it an unfair advantage).
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Seared salmon sushi

 

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Mixed Green Salad $10 Because vegetables are an integral part of every meal. The Ippudo Original Japanese dressing was a tad salty though, I’d prefer it if it was more diluted or sweeter.
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Goma Q $7 – Japanese cucumbers with sesame. A tad too salty too, there were clumps of salt crystals in the dressing. This also was super cold, like it had been taken straight out of the fridge.
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Shiromaru Tamago $17 – the Shiromaru is my go to soup base. I’ve actually never ordered out of the other soup bases, but I have tried them from my friends and I prefer this one for its mild flavour. My dad liked this, although he did say that he couldn’t taste the pork bone soup because all he tasted was soy sauce. I like Ippudo’s noodles – they are like the Chinese ramen which are thin and retain a spritey bite. Although I feel that the pork could do with more flavour.
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Karaka Men $17 – my mother likes strongly flavoured things so I ordered the ramen with spicy miso and ground pork. The soup was more salty than the white bowl and quite spicy! My mother said it was alright, but it didn’t blow her socks off either.
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Unagi rice $17 – this was average again. We got the tail end of the eel so it had some bones. The rice also wasn’t infused with the eel flavour, just soy sauce.

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