Even though I try to keep my diet as paleo as possible, I simply cannot resist a good bowl of Ramen. So when Ippudo Malaysia extended an invitation for me to dine at their Pavilion outlet, I very happily said yes and proceeded to drag my fellow Ramen lover Casey along. In fact, this wasn’t the first time I dined at Ippudo and you can read about my first experience here. Pavilion is where Ippudo first landed in Malaysia, and since there two more has opened up at Gardens Mall and Bangsar Shopping Centre (slightly different concept with a fancy Japanese bar); needless to say, Malaysians really do embrace this brand.
The previous times I visited the Ippudo, I didn’t get to try any of their ala carte dishes and dived straight to the Ramen as the serving is pretty substantial already on its own, at least for my small-ish stomach anyway. So this time, with a few more people in tow, I finally get to sample some of their other signatures, such as the crispy corn.
The sweet corn is buttered, lightly battered and deep fried, then topped with seaweed and paprika seasoning. Slightly crispy on the outside with juicy sweet corn kernels. It’s simple but fun to eat.
Forget about Tori Karaage, let me introduce you to the Buta Karaage. Tender pork loin fried to a crisp, made better by the special spicy mayo. Not to be missed if you love fried food.
But what really impressed me was the Chashu Tsukune Teppan, which consists of a juicy minced pork patty sitting on top of fried noodle bits in hot pan, topped with the ever-so-sexy looking onsen egg and some negi (leek). Well, I know you want it. The YolkPorn I mean. Here.
Nothing like a good dose of Yolk to brighten up my day. The oozy, silky smooth egg complements the pork patty so well, and I love the subtle flavour of ginger used in the patty. I’d order this again for sure for a repeat of this gastronomic experience.
Ippudo introduces special edition of ramen every 3 months, and from now until end of March, you can find the Kakuni Special (involving super chunky piece of Braised Pork Belly…. Got your attention yet?) and one for the spice lovers: Spicy Black. No prize guessing which one I’ve gone for.
Featuring Ippudo’s original pork broth, the Spicy Black involves spicy nikumiso (miso meat sauce) specially prepared using black pepper, shansho and other spices. It’s then enhanced by a spicy fragrant oil made with original and spicy koyu.
Served with Thin Hakata Style Noodles of your preferred doneness, it’s then topped with Chashu (Pork belly), a combination bitter spicy salad and Pakuchi (Coriander).
There is option for you to add your preferred toppings. Want to add extra aroma, try ground sesame seeds, or pepper and schichimi powder for extra spice if you need. And if you want even heavier taste, you can also add crushed garlic.
I opted for Hard noodles and added sesame seeds, along with 2 cloves of garlic (for extra immune boosting).
Of course, this Ramen is not for the faint-hearted. One, it’s packed with black pepper (you can see the specks everywhere) and it has a good dose of spicy oil on top. And if you look closer at the broth…
You can see the white bits, which are diced up pork fat, an essential to a creamy pork bone broth.
So the verdict? I enjoyed the Spicy Black, even though it’s not as spicy as I’d like (usually Spicy oil does nothing for me anyway). It is really warming though due to the black pepper. It has a more Chinese-Malaysian feel to it owing to the coriander and the meat sauce. It’s no wonder this has been proven popular with the Singaporeans and Malaysians. The chashu here is satisfactory with a good lean to fat ratio and just the right bite. And next time I would probably ask for extra hard noodles for that extra chew. Yum.
This is the Akamaru Kakuni special. Check out that massive piece of braised pork belly, and the glorious amount of fat! The Akamaru broth is enhanced with special blended miso paste (which is a little bit spicy) and fragrant garlic oil, served with thin noodles, kakuni as mentioned, kikurage (black fungus) and spring onions. The Pork Belly is reported to be super tender yet not cloying. Remember you have until end of this month to give this a try.
This is the dessert we got and it’s so adorable. I like how the mochi skin is nicely thin, and this reminded me of University days when I used to buy packs of mochi ice cream during winter (yes I am weird). It’s delightful indeed.
Thank you Ippudo Malaysia for hosting us!
Hakata Ippudo Ramen,
Level 4, Pavilion Shopping Mall, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2110 6233
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/IppudoMalaysia