Address: Shop 210, Silvercord Tower, 30 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui 尖沙咀廣東道30號新港中心210號舖
Telephone: 2957 8893
A few years ago, before Hong Kong became obsessed with Spanish and Latin American cuisine, Japanese ramen was all the rage. Ippudo, an acclaimed ramen chain from Fukuoka, opened its first outlet in Hong Kong in August 2011. Ippudo means “one wind hall” in Japanese, as the owner Shigemi Kawahara wished to blow wind and revolutionise the ramen era in Japan at the time.
Ippudo has outlets all over Japan and in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Sydney and Shanghai. There are currently five Ippudo branches in Hong Kong, and last week, I attended a dinner at Ippudo in Silvercord Tower in Tsim Sha Tsui, which was the first Ippudo branch in Hong Kong.
(1) The first dish was a Mixed Salad with Crispy Chicken. A natural and light salad was garnished by some deep fried chicken skin, which was a great match with cold beer. I adored the coriander which gave this salad a kick, but some of my friends frowned upon the addition of these controversial green leaves.
(2) The Samurai ribs are very popular at Ippudo‘s New York outlets, and I was glad that this scrumptious dish is now also available in Hong Kong. They are called Samurai ribs because the long, curved shape of the pork ribs was thought to resemble the swords used by Japanese Samurai. Made with Japanese dark vinegar, the sweet and sour sauce was moreish, and the powdery Japanese potatoes were simply magnificent.
(3) The most important addition to the menu was the “Ramen King” ramen. This ramen was created by Ippudo‘s owner, Shigemi Kawahara, and was the winner on a Japanese ramen battle television show. 100 bowls of this ramn are available at each outlet per day from 12 August 2013 to 8 September 2013, from 5pm onwards during the week and from 11:30am onwards during weekends and on public holidays.
The slow-cooked broth, made from pork bones and chicken, was flavourful and enticing, and I also adored the springy, medium-thick whole wheat ramen. Besides the pork, soft boiled egg, dried seaweed and bonito, there was also an innovative addition of steamed egg custard to the broth, which provided extra richness.
The “Ramen King” ramen came with a set of eating instructions.
We were told to eat around half of the ramen, before adding a specially made yuzu collagen ball to the broth. We stirred the broth gently until the entire ball dissolved, leaving a hint of fresh yuzu taste. The collagen was overall tasteless, but the girls at my table were very excited about the apparent skin-enhancing properties of collagen.
(4) Even though we had just finished a gigantic bowl of ramen, it was not an excuse for us to skip desserts, and the Okinawa Style Donuts with Ice cream ($33) soon made its way to our table. The deep-fried donut was a tad too hard on its own, but tasted better when eaten together with ice cream.
(5) We also ordered the Almond Pudding with Green Tea Sauce ($28). The milky green tea sauce was delightful, but I wished the almond pudding was creamier.
(6) The IPPUDO Colada ($35), a mocktail made with coconut milk and pineapple juice, was quite filling but was otherwise a fabulously rich and fruity drink.
These creative, tasty dishes are a welcomed addition to the menu. I will surely be back at Ippudo soon for another bowl of ramen and some addictive barbequed pork buns (which I didn’t get to order this time)!