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Belle: I’ve been back in Sydney for about 6 weeks after my trip to Japan and have been searching for a ramen place that would cater for my cravings. I needed to find ramen that could take me back to Dotonbori, Osaka. Ippudo seemed like the place to go. And it did not disappoint.

The herd and I headed to Ippudo on a Tuesday right before noon to try and beat the lunch crowds. But since we were in a group of five, our genius idea of getting there early backfired because they were letting couples through first. In the end we had to wait for around 20 minutes.

Alternatively, you can skip the queue and get a cheaper deal by purchasing from the take away counter

At the front of the store there is the bar were you can sit and order from their drinks menu. Unfortunately you can’t also skip the queue by heading the to bar and ordering ramen.

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Everyone who heads into the restaurant is greeted with loud “irasshaimase” by the workers behind the kitchen. I felt like a rock star.

One side of the wall is decorated with clay tiles that you find on traditional Japanese architecture. And the ceiling somewhat resembles a giant bamboo mat for rolling sushi.

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The service here was excellent and the staff were well informed.

We were given the menu while we waited in line so once we were seated we were ready to order right away.

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We started off with the Gyoza ($6 for 5) which were surprisingly small compared to the image on the menu. It was nothing spectacular and I honestly don’t remember too much of it because it was consumed in one mouthful.

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At Ippudo, they have two steam buns on offer. The first one I tried is the is the Ippudo Pork Bun ($4) which was a steamed bun with braised pork and Ippudo orginal sauce. The piece of pork was juicy and tender and went down well.

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However the Ippudo Shrimp Bun ($4) which is a steamed bun with deep fried shrimp and Ippudo original sauce was disappointing because it lacked some sort of seasoning. The sweet steam buns, deep fried shrimp and sauce was too much sweetness overload and needed something to cut through it.

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Aside from the A La Carte menu, we were here for one thing at Ippudo. Their ramen.

At Ippudo you can choose from three types of noodles; soft, hard or harder. I prefer the hard noodles. And on their ramen menu, there are three variety of ramen on offer – all three uses their famous tonkotsu soup (pork bone soup) as their base.

I decided to go with the basic Shiromaru Tomago which consistsed of the Ippudo original tonkotsu broth served with thin noodles, pork loin, cabbage, black mushroom, shallots and a shiromaru flavoured egg. That first sip brought me back to Japan and I was in heaven. The soup was a perfect balance of saltiness with a bit of sweetness. The hard noodles had a nice bite to it as well. I think the next time I go, I would like to try out the harder noodles.

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Ando and B both went for the Akamaru Shinaji ramen which is the Ippudo orginal tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with thin noodles, pork belly, black mushroom and shallots. As well as the added flavoured egg. The miso and garlic really enhances the flavour of the soup. It was a definite favourite among the group and looking around the room it also seems like the more popular dish.  The strong garlic reminds me of my mum’s cooking and I will be getting this the next time I eat here.

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Ewok went for the other ramen on offer, the Ippudo Karakamen Chasu ($21). This soup consists of the Ippudo original tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso and ground pork with simmered pork belly. This broth reminds me of instant ramen but yummier.

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D-lam decided to try one of their other non-ramen dishes on the menu and ordered the Hot Stone Unagi Rice ($10). It was a good tasting and satisfying dish but not spectacular. The ramen at Ippudo really steals the show.

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Ippudō on Urbanspoon

188 Pitt Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

(02) 90878 7020

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