Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Today was the last day of my friend Vera's visit from Seattle, and the place that she wanted to hit up for lunch was Ippudo. Despite the fact that it was about 80 degrees outside (not exactly ideal weather for ramen) and I warned her that the place has been way over-hyped, we arrived on 10th street and 4th ave a little before 1pm. Luckily the warm weather probably scared most people away, and there was no line outside (shocker, since the last time I was there the wait was over 2 and a half hours. I personally don't think any sort of soup-noodle is worth that sort of wait. I don't care if they shipped it directly from Japan on a super-sonic jet - NOT WORTH IT).

We were seated right away amidst some yelling in Japanese (did I mention that the wait-staff would yell things periodically in Japanese - during which time they received response yells in Japanese from the kitchen staff? It seemed pretty routine and the first thought that crossed my mind was: Dude. This reminds me of Coldstone where every once in a while you hear a cow bell and then all of a sudden the employees break out into a song about tip money), but the food was as I remembered: not awesome enough to warrant all the gushing that people do about it.

Vera and I both ordered the Shiromaru Hakata Classic Ramen with additional kakuni (braised pork belly) on top.

The broth was ok, the noodles were like any other noodles that you would get at any other ramen place, and the chashu pork was nothing like what I'm used to. It was not particularly tender, and bit too salty for my taste. The entire meal would have been a complete failure had it not been for the kakuni. The pork belly was tender with nice layers of lean meat interspersed with fatty, but it still wouldn't be enough to entice me to come back again. I was reminded of why I had never previously been back since the first time - which was over 2 years ago.

Overall rating: 4/10

65 4th Avenue 
New York, NY 10003

*Note: I may be somewhat biased since I don't care much for soup-noodles at baseline, but I did attempt to be as impartial as possible

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