Melbournians need not cross the border for the famed IPPUDO ramen because now you can find it right in the heart of the city. The cult global chain, created by the ‘Ramen King’, Shigemi Kawahara, brings its famous Tonkotsu ramen to town and it’s already a hit with the locals.
The Tonkotsu ramen is the house speciality, a creamy thick pork based broth ramen with thin Hakata style ramen noodles. Add a range of traditional toppings and select your desired noodle texture (extra hard to soft) and voila you have the perfect bowl of ramen.
The broth forms the base of the ramen. The Hakata Silky Pork broth is smooth yet with a rich and full-bodied taste. IPPUDO uses a specialised ‘double maturation process’ in preparing its broth which adds several layers of depth to its taste. Cooked for a good 18 hours in a specially-crafted soup pot, then rounded off using a lower heat maturation method for another full day. This is such an important part of the ramen experience, a broth that is worthy of spoonfuls until its finished.
Ramen at IPPUDO comes in three different styles, each with the broth as its shining star.
The classic, the Shiromaru Motoaji is topped with slices of pork, bean sprouts, black fungus and spring onion.
Shiromaru Motoaji ramen
The second is the Akamaru Shinaji is the original broth combined with a special blended miso and garlic oil paste , then topped with the same ingredients as the classic.
The final is the Karaka-men which is the classic but topped with spicy-miso
Personally I like a traditional ramen and the Shiromaru Motoaji ramen was just as good as I had expected and remembered (having visited the Sydney outlet several times). For me, it’s all about the consistency and taste of the broth base and it really didn’t disappoint. IPPUDO really does have the perfect recipe where there is a wholesome full taste and the consistency is creamy and smooth. Just the right balance of oil as well. I also like to add a flavoured egg to the mix as well and this was cooked just right with the yolk cooked just so that it wasn’t runny.
Akamaru Shinaji ramen
Beyond ramen, IPPUDO does have a delicious range of A la carte items including one my favourites, the Pork Belly Bun, a delectable and perfectly cooked slice of pork belly bathed in a special sauce with kewpie mayo and shredded lettuce sitting inside a beautifully cooked white bao; and Seared Salmon Sushi roll, an innovatively created sushi roll with seared salmon around the rice and a spicy cod roe mayonnaise on top that has been lightly flamed. A great mix of textures and taste that is very moreish.
Seared Salmon Sushi Roll
For the sweet tooth, there are three desserts on offer including the Mango Tango dessert which has a delicious mango topped pavolva/panacotta and a caramel sesame crisp that you break into the bowl and mix. A wonderfully different dessert with great mix of flavours that actually works together and great texture.
IPPUDO at QV Melbourne is a strikingly well designed space that caters for up to 100 people which means that the queue outside should always move fast…
IPPUDO Melbourne is now open at Shop 18 Artemis Lane QV Shopping Centre, 300 Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000