Ippudo SG – No More ‘Tao’ at Mohamed Sultan
Ippudo has always been one of my favourite ramen, easily my top three. Compared to the original Ippudo at Mandarin Gallery. I somehow prefer the Mohamed Sultan Ippudo Tao branch. There is more life and vibrancy over there, with a slightly bigger selection yet less customers in the waiting.
That branch recently made a significant change – dropping the Tao brand into Ippudo SG (no more dramatic drum rhythms), and offering mainly Hakata-style thin and straight noodles. The thicker noodles (which I would call the mee-pok) have also been removed from the menu.
I have always wondered about Ippudo’s lack of expansion. After all it has been around 3 years in the Singapore market, being one of the first to lead the ramen craze in the country, yet remaining at 2 branches while the rest have caught on or exceeded.
Ippudo SG at Mohamed Sultan continues to serve its signature ramen: original tonkotsu broth Shiromaru Matoaji ($15), Akamaru Shinaji which includes a special blended miso paste ($16) and Spicy Tonkotsu ($16). For something not available at Mandarin Gallery, the Bonito Tonkotsu ramen ($16) is unique to this branch.
Unfortunately during one of my visits to try its new menu, I was met with a reservation mess-up from their staff and the rude service subsequently did not help. Long story short, they made a mistake, put the blame on the customer, and wanted to ‘chase’ my friends away. Their Japanese in-charge was prompt enough to savage the situation.
Normally I would not return but I liked the food so much that I wanted to give Ippudo another chance.
The Hakata Shoyu ramen is like how it is presented, simple and clear without any fanciful condiments or presentation. Usually I am a thick milky tonkotsu person, but am able to appreciate the distinct pureness in this broth. The thin and slight curly noodles cooked al-dente hard continued to work for me.
The Bonito Tonkotsu is a love or hate. Those who are bored are simple flavours would find this thick bonito fish stock a much-needed inclusion, while some would find the bonito overpowering, distracting the original taste of the tonkotsu broth.
Ippudo SG’s ramen still maintains its consistency. On my wish list, a lower price and a more approachable Ippudo would help push up its ranking.
Ippudo SG @ Mohamed Sultan
207 River Valley Road #01-55/56 UE Square (Along Mohamed Sultan Rd) Singapore 238275, Tel: +65 6887 5315
Opening Hours: 11:30am – 3pm, 5:30pm – 12am (Mon-Thurs), 11:30am -3pm, 5:30pm -2am (Fri-Sat), 11:30am-11pm (Sun)
Other Ramen Entries
Tonkotsu Kazan Ramen (Liang Court)
Menzo Butao (Marina Square)
Ramen Kagetsu Arashi (The Star Vista)
Keisuke Tonkotsu King Four Seasons (Bugis Village)
Menya Sanji (Orchid Hotel, Tanjong Pagar)
August 17, 2017