(SPOT.ph) There’s ramen, and then there’s ramen. Many establishments are stepping up their game and going for the latter, because as it turns out, there’s a lot you can do with the stuff. There’s truffle ramen, veggie ramen, DIY ramen—that realm is constantly expanding. But the home cooks out there will tell you that sometimes all it takes is one extra step—in Ippudo’s case, it’s Torched Chashu.
It sounds simple, but it makes all the difference in the world. Torching the chashu adds a smokiness and even more texture to the dish. Ippudo has a few versions in this new lineup, and all of them are as capable of delivering a bone-deep satisfaction as your regular ramen, if not more.
The Yokohama Iekei (P499) is a hybrid broth, using a combination of Paitan and Ippudo’s signature tonkotsu. The noodles are thicker than what you’re probably used to, but you need that much body to counteract the richness of the soup and the shoyu tamago. The slightly charred pork belly helps in that department, too. Our verdict: It’s not good for a cheat day, but when you’ve just come from a week that felt like a year, this bowl could be your go-to.
The spicy minced meat in the Karaka Special (P499) make for an interesting flavor and texture—it’s sure to wake you up, if that’s what you need. This version has thinner noodles, and the fact that the miso paste doesn’t overpower the meat is pretty impressive. This one’s for when you’re looking for a little adventure.
The Akamaru Special (P499) is known as a modern, refined ramen. The use of ajikikurage, or black fungus, adds a deep earthiness that balances out the miso paste. When the pork belly is torched, you get an almost steak-like flavor on the whole. Our thoughts? Order it this way, pronto.
It may not be what you’re used to, but 2020 is just around the corner—isn’t it time you took those baby steps towards something new?
See a list of Ippudo branches.
Photos by Majoy Siason