Ippudo, the latest Japanese ramen chain to land in New York, has become an instant hound hangout. The core of its glory is deep, Hakata-style tonkotsu pork broth. Just a month after Ippudo’s opening, many rank its tonkotsu the best in Manhattan.
Silverjay describes a mild, well-balanced soup that falls in “the fat part of the bell curve” for porkiness, saltiness, and umami. “Very porky tasting, very comforting, very warm, very slurpy,” sums up guttergourmet. Among the several flavors, the early favorite is akamaru shin-aji (“new taste”), seasoned with a dollop of red miso and finished with a sesame-scented “special sauce.”
But even Ippudo’s partisans voice a few reservations. Silverjay laments the lack of tableside condiments offered in the chain’s Japanese shops “to turn your soup up a notch or two”: fresh garlic, sesame, pickled ginger, etc. Some resist the upscale “ramen noodle brasserie” stylings and balk at the $13 price tag, especially given what several hounds consider meager toppings (roast pork, cabbage, Japanese green onion). As E Eto, who generally likes the place, writes, “a $13 bowl of ramen is like a $5 slice of pizza. It might be good, but is it worth it?”
Ippudo NY [East Village]
65 Fourth Avenue (near E. 10th Street), Manhattan