Ippudo @ Shaw Centre: Look beyond the Ramen
Labels: affordable, big groups, family friendly, hidden finds, japanese, may return, orchard, ramen · Posted by SiHaN at 4/11/2015 11:15:00 am
Opening its 5th outlet in Singapore, it is clearly evident that despite the saturation of ramen options on local grounds, Ippudo has succeeded in breaking into the hearts of many. Just sitting there alone and observing the incessant flow of large groups through the grounds, trying to figure out the various group dynamics, nationalities and age groups certainly made for a mind boggling experience.
But first, we put the food to the test.
Hailed by many to be the most outstanding dish in Ippudo's extensive lineup, the Beef tataki ($6) failed to live up to its hype. Sure, the beef slices were well marbled and all, but the protein didn't stand out on its own, masked by the acidity of the citrus soy glaze that I suspect could have been ladled on a little too early causing a slight meltdown in the beef's protein structure. Shame.
The Crispy Corn ($6) is a dish only exclusive to Singapore outlets and this is definitely one to order ,especially for those touting a cold pint of Asahi and looking for a beer snack. Lightly battered and deep fried corn on a cob gets hit with a dash of paprika and herbs before being served. Sweet and juicy towards the inner kernels with a crisp hollow finish at the ends. This was super addictive and I dare say, a mainstay on the menu.
For those looking for a protein fix, opt for the Chicken Teriyaki ($13) - tender chicken thigh pan fried and glazed with sweet sauce, french beans, bean sprouts and sweet corn on a hot plate. This is an ideal dish for the health conscious, the palate of colors splashed across the dish highly appetising, coupled with the wafting smell of caramelization, Irresistible.
If you're in the mood for something creamy and utterly sinful, then turn your gaze upon the Kani Cream Croquette. Word of advice here, don't be an eager beaver, as biting down to fast into this beast can be a fatal mistake. The steamy innards of creamy crab filling threatening to scorch the roof of my mouth. Remember, take it slow with this one. Resplendent in gold on the outside and a luscious cave of gooey mess within, this would serve as a delicious snack for those who want to fill that extra tummy space.
Well, steering us back to their linchpin, the ramens at Ippudo have a unique twist, most versions incorporating a touch of chili to appeal to the spice-loving taste buds of the locals. We sampled the Tan Tan Tonkotsu ($16) , another dish only available at the Ippudo Shaw Centre outlet; the broth is an interesting one, sesame paste blended with their signature tonkotsu broth. Be bold, go ahead and give that wedge of lemon a good squeeze and you'll be rewarded with an exquisite mixture of flavors in one bowl. I lapped it all up with fervour. Yes, it was that good.
Unfortunately, across the dinner table, my partner struggled with his Akamaru Shin-Aji ($16), one of the signatures of Ippudo, the soup did nothing to push his buttons. Being huge fans of Santouka, perhaps the lack of robustness in the broth failed to capture our attention.
Another gem we uncovered is the wallet friendly Tsukune Rice ($7), featuring a juicy pork patty studded with shreds of aromatic ginger, shredded lettuce, onsen egg and that quintessential kewpie mayo on the side. This is definitely a dish I would make spontaneous return visits for.
Ippudo @ Shaw Centre
1 Scotts Road
t: 6235 2547
Daily: 11 30am - 10pm