Posted by: Hungry Korean | October 15, 2009

Not your packaged variety

Once a month me and three of my girlfriends meet for a night of food and catch up.  We refer to it fondly as the “Joy Luck Club.”  Last night, with the weather becoming increasingly crisper (aka colder), a steaming bowl of hand made ramen seemed incredibly appropriate.

Over the past couple years, NYC has seen a steady stream of hand made, fancy schmancy ramen noodle shops.  They are “just like” Japanese ramen noodles found in Japan with home made noodles and a broth that has been slow simmered for hours.  I’ve been to most of them here: Minca (broth was way too thick), Menkui Tei (pretty darn good), Setagaya (one of the first to really move NYers to wait for Ramen) and Momofuku Noodle Bar (surprisingly the worst of the bunch since i’m such a diehard David Chang).  So it was about time I came to Ippudo. People wait up to an hour and half for a table at this popular ramen joint.

We started with the ever famous pork buns. They are similar to Momofuku’s buns but i had actually heard they were BETTER. (is that possible?)


I can’t believe i’m about to say this, but t-h-e-y w-e-r-e!!!!!  The pork is just as soft and meltingly tender but it was drenched in some delicious type of sauce.  There was some cucumber and the outer pillow buns were just as soft and light.  But the main difference from the Momofuku buns was the lettuce and mayonnaise. My friend remarked it tasted like a Whopper. I dunno what kind of Whoppers she’s had but this was no Whopper. Wow. It was tangy and sweet and salty — fresh and crispy and soft — meaty and delicious.  I wanted more than one. I would come back for these for sure. FOR SURE.

We also had the lotus root appetizer stuffed with minced shrimp but we ate those too fast… portion was teeny.  It was good.  It’s fried so how can you really mess that up. It had an interesting presentation though, you dip it in some sauce and it’s served with powdered green tea.


For main I had the house specialty and what i hear is the most popular ramen dish of all: Akamaru Ramen.  photo

Pork bone has been simmered for hours to create this incredibly rich and flavorful broth.  If that isn’t enough pork for you, you then have chunks of tender pork belly scattered among the homemade noodles along with shredded cabbage, onions, garlic and scallions.  What you get is a delicious mouthful in every bite.  Here’s a closer look:


Highly recommend you get yourself over to Ippudo one of these cold wintery nights. You’ll walk away with a warmed belly and warmed heart.

Ippudo Ramen, 65 Fourth Avenue, New York, NY



  1. […] had some of the best in NY (we have quite a few traditional Japanese ramen houses there) and Setagaya in NY is one of the best (in my opinion) ramen houses in NY where the chefs are from Japan and […]

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