SPOT.ph Exclusive: A Sneak Peek into Ippudo Philippines
We took a tour of Ippudo’s first branch in Manila and got hungry!
(SPOT.ph) We can now happily announce that Ippudo’s first Philippine branch in SM Mega Fashion Hall is opening on September 10, Wednesday. The international ramen chain, which was brought to local shores by the Standard Hospitality Group, opened in Fukuoka City in 1985. They currently have branches in the United States (New York, specifically), Australia, and all over Asia.
Every Ippudo branch has a distinct identity, says Standard Hospitality Group Marketing Officer Candice Zialcita, with an interior designer from Japan responsible for crafting each aesthetic. The Manila outlet takes a decidedly modern turn to fit Yabu’s (another Standard Hospitality Group project) established hip look. The palette is made up of mostly black walls and gray stone bricks, with a splash of red and blonde wood here and there.
A deconstructed Japanese roof-on the wall
"We use traditional (Japanese) items and make them fashionable," says Ippudo Representative Yota Shiiba. He points to the wall near the entrance: the kawara, he calls it. It has a stone installation that mimics Japanese roof patterns. Further in, long tables are illuminated by lightboxes. Japanese paper featuring traditional drawings (of ramen) is glued onto an acrylic box to simulate a modern lantern effect.
The chairs also resemble the ones in Yabu.
These interesting table dividers are low enough for friends sitting across one another to converse, yet effective enough for those who want to keep to themselves.
Another side of the restaurant is decked in shelves full of red and white bowls-the same bowls that Ippudo uses to serve their ramen in, says Zialcita.
The color of the bowl indicates the type of ramen you’re having. Ippudo has three: black, white, and red.
Notice the mix of cultural elements in the uniforms. The one on the left is worn by the kitchen staff while the one on the right is for the front of house.
The highlight, however, is the kitchen with bar seating for a sensory dining experience, and a secondary kitchen at the back where customers can watch the staff make the noodles fresh every day. The flour, along with 80% of Ippudo’s ingredients, is sourced from Japan, but the menu, according to Shiiba, has been curated from Ippudo’s wide selection of offerings to those that would appeal best to Filipinos.
If you’re getting hungry, don’t worry. We’ll be posting about the dishes soon.
Ippudo is at 3/F SM Mega Fashion Hall, Mandaluyong City.