Monday, September 29, 2014

Ippudo - Chippendale (Central Park)

I had been lucky enough to be invited by Ippudo to visit their new premise at Central Park before their opening on Oct 2nd. Situated in the 'dining district' of the complex, the vibe around the place is really chillaxy and awesome - as is the decor of their newly renovated restaurant.

To be honest, when I received their invitation, I was really really excited. Since Ippudo first came to Sydney, I had been meaning to try out their ramen and pork bun. But for one reason or another, my efforts to go had been thwarted in one way or another.

The first thing that you get smacked in the face with when you enter their store is a super crazy enthusiastic "いっらしゃいませ" ("Irrashaimase"). I hope that the staff were only this enthusiastic because it's early days as their welcome chant was so intense that it gave me a fright! LOL :)
We were welcomed warmly with an extensive menu and told to chose anything except.... they didn't have pork buns! My heart sank a little >.<

We made our selection - a beef croquette to share, a Shiromaru Special for me, and a Miso Tonkotsu Special for hubby. The beef croquette was slightly too oily but it was golden brown and crumbed well. The innards flowed out this beefy creamy substance which was unexpectedly meaty in flavour. I didn't dislike it, but it was very different to other croquette's I've had due to the beefiness of it.

Tables around us ordered things like their fish and chips (lighly battered salmon with chips), and salmon aburi sushi. I have to say - I got serious food envy. The sushi looked pretty awesome! I definitely have to try it next time I go there.

Our ramen came shortly after. The "special" bit of our ramen meant that we get a side plate of flavoured soft boiled egg, simmered pork belly, roasted seaweed sheets, black mushrooms (or black fungus), bamboo shoots and spring onions. I know, it's the greedy option but I really enjoyed the gooey nature of the egg and the plentiful seaweed. And the simmered pork belly??? Simply melt-in-your-mouth to die for type of YUM!

For the noodles, you get to choose between soft, medium and firm for the amount of cookedness. The waitress recommended 'firm' to get maximal texture and bounciness in the noodles and I guess, the noodles gradually soak up the soup anyway. As for the soup bases, hubby's Miso Tonkotsu was really flavourful. Not as thick as Gumshara, but you could still taste the collageny goodness about. The semi-strong miso flavour mixed in with the pork soup makes this a very palatable slurp.
My Shiromaru soup is also tonkotsu based. It was less intense and served with thin white Hakata-style noodles. The two ramens were really quite different. My one is the milder cousin of the miso tonkotsu but just as filling. I have no idea how the other tables managed to eat their noodles with their fish and chips / sushi but hubby and I were both super super stuffed by the end of our meal.
I had a tasty meal. I love noodles and this satisfied my noodle cravings. Can't wait til they officially open and I can finally sample their pork buns!

Ippudo Sydney (Central Park)
Level 1, RB07
28 Broadway
NSW 2008

Opening on : October 2nd, 2014

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