Ippudo, famed in Tokyo for its tonkatsu ramen broth, has opened an outfit at Mandarin Gallery Shopping arcade. Having undergone an extensive facelift, the new facade of the building now houses a Jones the Grocer shop(much smaller than its Dempsey counterpart), a Deste cake shop (again, a tiny offshoot of its branch at Riverwalk but selling miniature versions of its artistic cakes) and other retail shops.
Instead of sticking with a traditional setup(much like Ippudo in Ebisu for instance), Ippudo is extremely modern, with its colour tones of black, red and white, oozing urban sleekness. I suppose it could be one of the most fashionable ramen bars in Singapore, but does the ramen stand up to the taste test?
First, unlike the branches in Japan, Ippudo in Sg doesn’t provide the side condiments. Instead, what you get is a concise version of its menu – we ordered a Akamaru Kasaneaji – which was really a Kakuni, miso paste tonkotsu broth. The broth was rich and thick, and the noodles were extremely supple.
Next, we sampled the Shiromaru motoaji – pork loin, tonkotsu broth. The soup base for this was decidedly lighter and less spicy than the Akamaru broth, with one thin slice of pork loin.
My grouse with both dishes was that while the soup could not be faulted, the ingredients in the ramen were slightly dismal. The Shiromaru came only with one slice of pork loin, and while we ordered an egg to go with it, the egg had hardened to become in effect, a stewed egg, rather than being wet and runny as it usually is. There is a precise art to making these eggs, and hopefully, Ippudo Sg will ensure that the eggs will be perfected in time. If you’re a fan of the broth and noodles, then venture to the shop – however, if you like me, prefer a bit more bite for your buck, I would head over to the other ramen places in Sg.