#04-22/23 Shaw Centre near Orchard MRT
Located at the top floor of the newly furbished Shaw Centre lies a boisterous Ramen restaurant that has a continuous ruckus going on. Shouting at the top of their voices with pure conviction, the Ippudo service crew does indeed have a unique and fun way of welcoming their customers. As Ippudo strives to create a refreshing experience always, every branch has its own specialty dishes and theme. While the 5th and newest branch at Shaw Centre focuses more on sharing plates, your much needed dose of ramen will not be compromised. If you have difficulty looking for Shaw Centre, just enter the Isetan cosmetic area at the familiar Lido Shaw on the first floor and then turn right into the new Shaw Centre.
The well-marbled beef tataki, slightly seared at the top is a starter that most wouldn’t want to miss as these fragrant melt-in-your-mouth pieces blended deliciously with the shoyu and spring onion relish without any revolting gamey taste at all. And the yuzu pepper paste cleverly placed at the side helps to cut through the heavy-tasting meat, only helping to lift the entire taste!
Beef Steak. These tender juicy beef cubes intercalated with fragrant fats were sent dancing on the hot teppan plate as the waiter glazes these cubes with the fragrant black peppery sauce! Done medium, they were pretty irresistable! $15.
This literally sparkling bowl of Tsukune rice was served with a huge juicy minced pork patty that is glazed with sweet sauce while the runny yolk of the soft boiled egg fused beautifully with the sticky Japanese rice, giving it a greater umami satisfaction. $7.
The tomato cream sauce-drizzled Kani Cream Croquette was so well-fried that a golden, flaky crust was yielded and stuffed within it is the creamy savoury crab filling that oozes into your mouth upon the slightest bite. A huge contrast in texture indeed, which makes it fun to eat.
I have to stress that this plate of unassuming Ippudo Original Salad was actually one of the highlights for me and should be a must order for vegetarian lovers! Served with mixed greens, the creamy Avocado, tofu and grated deep-fried potato were the main players in this dish and there is an exciting mix of textures and flavours. But what actually impressed me most was the specially concocted wafu sauce that tasted addictively spicy and sweet. Upon further clarification, we realised that the mashed carrots and onions added did the trick. Indubitably, we coated every single drop on our greens! $12.
With a choice of spicy/non-spicy, these Ippudo original Buns (Kong Ba Bao) didn’t hit me at my first bite as it tasted similar to the Chinese rendition, well-marinated tender pork with everything done right! It was only later that I came to realise that its exquisiteness really lies in the super fluffy and soft bun which comes with a slight springy consistency. Such buns are what I have always felt, only peculiar to Japan and only Japan as I still remember eating one of the best red bean buns with such a memorable consistency at a convenient store in Tokyo. $4 for 1 and $9 for 3.
We got the small Shiromaru Motoaji that is Ippudo’s original creamy gelatinous tonkotsu Ramen. Topped with the savoury char siew and springy noodles done hard (which is the right way Japanese eats), this bowl was slurped dry within minutes. $12 for small and $15 for regular.
And the specialty ramen of this branch – Tan Tan Tonkotsu that is a ramen edited to suit the local palates. Blended with Japanese sesame paste, the rich, creamy tonkotsu base is cleverly topped with spicy minced pork miso to give you an electrifying experience. You could already imagine how the fragrant minced pork miso would shine in the creamy soup base. Drizzled with some lemon juices and this bowl of ramen should be able to perk you up. $16.
Not willing to give our tummies up, we got all three desserts (Sesame ice with shiratama $5, Matcha Ice with shiratama $5 and Strawberry parfait $8) on the menu and they were simply spectacular. Not only are the mochi well done with a fun chewy texture, the sweetness of each ingredient was adequate and not overly represented. Out of which, my favourite was the sesame ice cream as they are way too intense to be ignored and its melted version tasted like a chilled bowl of decadent sesame paste! Slurps.
So, expectedly Ippudo has never disappointed and this new branch would only serve to impress, especially so when the head chefs and managers are all air-flown from Japan as well. Great service, great pricing and great spirit at this ramen joint, what more could we ask for!
Special thanks to Vivien for hosting us!