Ippudo, Mandarin Gallery

I thought I’d be on a “new cafe” roll when we decided to have brunch at Wild Honey. However, the line was really long and it was way past brunch time so we hopped into Ippudo on the 4th floor of Mandarin Gallery instead.

I’ve never been a fan of ramen as it always tasted like instant noodles to me. I’m a picky eater and ramen at run-of-the-mill places like Ajisen shouldn’t count. but like I said, since the dish never appealed, I never made it a point to try proper ramen until I got to Japan. I was on a trip with my boss and she asked what was it i wanted to eat while in Tokyo. I stated plainly BEEF and she asked if there’s anything I’d avoid and I said ramen. at that, her face dropped a little and she confessed that she had wanted to bring me to a tiny ramen stall just around our hotel at Ginza and eat her favourite ramen. I acquiesced to her craving, she signs my paycheck anyway, so she brought me to this hole in the wall that served one of the best ramen I’ve ever eaten. ever since then, I thought I didn’t mind giving good ramen a chance.

Ippudo opened at Mandarin Gallery to great crowds. It’s practically impossible to get a seat and every time we went there, there’s a long line. Today, we were slightly luckier since we were in between meals and the crowd was sorta clearing, so we got a table under 10 minutes.

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Deep fried chicken. my favourite fried chicken is still the one we had from a Korean restaurant at St Marks  in New York, which served the best spicy fried chicken in the world. they brought the branch to Ion called Bonchon but the standard isn’t as good as in New York, although it is still pretty good. so when I saw this on the menu, I couldn’t resist ordering it.

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Richard ordered what sounded like char siew bao on the menu but turned out to be kong bak bao. and it was the yummiest kong bak bao ever. it’s a soft white bun with a slice of crispy lettuce, a layer of japanese mayo and succulent barbecued pork loin sandwiched in between. 3 bucks for one kong bak bao that we had to share but yummmmmy!

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and their famous Ippudo Tao Kuro ramen. the noodles are springy, the soup is thick and yummy, served with a layer of special miso paste (the black stuff) and garlic oil, topped with 2 pieces of pork belly. I LOVE PORK BELLY!

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