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)