I’m not even the biggest fan of ramen, but I have to admit there is nothing better to warm you up on a freezing NYC winter day. We decided to come to Ippudo for lunch to avoid the crazy long dinner waits, but still ended up having a good 40 minutes during which we strolled through the Union Square farmers market. By the time we got back we were seated, walking past what I hoped was Japanese welcome greetings from the workers, but who knows?! Since it was just the two of us, we sat at the modern bar. We pretty much knew what we were there for, but the waiter was super informative and explained the different types of ramen to us. We started out with the hirato buns, which were incredible. The buns are soft and pillowy and the pork filling was juicy and flavorful. Definitely the way to start off.
Next up was the ramen, which surprisingly blew me away. I got the Akamaru Modern made with Ippudo’s special sauce, pork belly chashu, cabbage, kikurage, scallions, miso paste & fragrant garlic oil. I’ve never before tasted broth with such a depth of rich smoky flavor. The noodles were freshly made and the pork belly was also tasty but definitely not the highlight of the dish. Even though this was incredibly filling, I just could not get enough of that broth!!
We also tried the Shiromaru Hakata Classic Ramen, described as ‘the original tonkotsu’ soup noodle with pork loin chashu, kikurage, menma, 1/2 boiled egg, red pickled ginger, sesame & scallions. If you’re not as hungry and in the mood for something lighter this is the way to go. You can definitely taste a huge difference of the two broths and both are delicious in their own ways.
Overall, Ippudo serves up some great quality food for a very reasonable price and is a great deal in NYC. The crazy lines are are huge hassle, but it’s definitely worth a visit!
After Ippudo we made our way up to Eataly for some dessert and to finally check out what the hype is all about….and I have to say that after having some of the best tasting and creamiest gelato ever (I got the hazelnut and loved it!) and drooling over their amazing specialty Italian products, I was left wishing I was back in NYC more often. Of course I picked up a few items to take back to St. Louis with me so that will just have to do for now!