Ippudo Philippines: The best Karaage in town!

Third Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City

Third Floor, Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Ortigas, Mandaluyong City

More ramen! This time it’s Ippudo Philippines!

Here are some more Ramen Places visited by FoodMetroManila:

To continue Haziel’s 2015 birthday celebration, we had planned to watch Tom Hiddleston’s Crimson Peak (she’s a Hiddlestoner) after a lovely dinner. However, the traffic was so bad going to the SM Megamall that we found ourselves with only little time before the 10 pm showing time. I thought about just getting a quick dinner from the newly opened Halal Guys at the Mega Food Hall. I was excited to hit this place up for nostalgia about my time eating from those Halal Street Carts in NYC for quick lunches during workdays. But the line was so long! It’s just NYC street food, people! 

I captured that beautiful flat white from Satchmi. More of those on the instagram @foodmetromanila

I captured that beautiful flat white from Satchmi. More of those on the instagram @foodmetromanila

We went first to the absolutely awesome Satchmi Store for a quick (and beautiful) flat white. On the way there, we noticed that there was no line outside Ippudo. This was very unusual especially since it was a Friday night, a midnight sale, and on a payday nonetheless! So with only about 40 minutes before show time, we decided to just get fast bowls of Ramen for dinner.

No line but still very full during the dinner service

Still very full during dinner service.

We were welcomed by a gentleman who was quickly able to get us two seats on the bar by the kitchen. We didn’t really mind as we like to sit next to each other while dining anyway.

Nice tiles

Nice tiles

Pepper Mill, Sesame Seed Grinder, Garlic Press, and a small box of fresh-peeled garlics. I only used the garlic press but you won't really need any of them...

Pepper Mill, Sesame Seed Grinder, Garlic Press, and a small box of peeled garlics. I only used the garlic press but you won’t really need any of them…

The pace was frenetic inside the restaurant but the servers were still attentive and will entertain you promptly. They were also very knowledgeable about the menu. Two friends seated beside us had no idea about Ramen so the server walked them through the menu and explained to the girls what they would expect from each bowl.

The interior of the restaurant was beautiful and hip. The overhead lighting was perfect for taking great pictures from mobile devices. However, just like all other place in the fashion mall, the area itself was quite cramped.

Must orders at Ippudo Philippines!

Must orders at Ippudo Philippines!

Aside from the time me and my colleagues had to grab a quick lunch at Butamaru, I always like to order other items to complement my Ramen Bowl. There are a lot to order here in Ippudo and it starts with some great bowls of Ramen. Let’s talk about all that, shall we?

Ippudo Pork Bun

Not siopao, damn it

Not siopao, damn it

They say no visit to Ippudo is ever complete without ordering the Pork Bun… and I have to agree!

Within the immaculate steamed bun is a slice of pork so tender that I swear it melted in my mouth. The slice of pork is akin to that of Ramen Yushoken’s and works really well with that sauce they serve it with (I taste mayonnaise, was too hungry to care about it too much). We ordered two. Haziel tried mine and then saved hers to be taken home in a doggy bag.

Hakata Style Gyoza

FoodMetroManila is not impressed

FoodMetroManila is not impressed

Rarely am I disappointed with Gyoza from ramen places but I am with these five pieces from Ippudo. Each piece was stuck to each other and it was hard prying them off without breaking the wrapper. Once the wrapper breaks, the fillings spill out (still very much whole) and it does not look appetizing by then. I swear.

The filling tasted bland and it was dry. I have a strong feeling that they were frozen and just pulled out at the last minute to be cooked as the order came. Very disappointed with these.

Nanban Karaage

You have to order these! You have to!

You have to order these! You have to!

Haziel rarely likes karaage. These – these were a game changer. She actually asked to finish the dish!

The chicken itself were cooked absolutely perfect! Soft, juicy, and all white on the inside. The outside was delightfully crisp. The seasoning was spot-on! You could actually eat them on their own… but no! The flavor is amplified by the sweet sauce they drizzled it with and that cool and tangy tartar sauce on the side. The best karaage I have had so far! The best in town!

Shiromaru Motoaji

Very simple looking bowl of noodles but the flavor is very complex

Very simple looking bowl of noodles but the flavor is very complex

I have never seen a ramen bowl more prettier than what you get from Yushoken. Ippudo’s doesn’t even come close to it. The taste, however, is pretty much at the same level.

The tonkotsu broth is not as thick as I would like it to be but tastes absolutely divine! You get full pork flavor with every slurp. Ippudo lets you upgrade each of their bowls three ways at varying steepness of price: with tamago; with chashu; with tamago, chashu, and seaweed. The pork loin is not as good as the chashu of yushoken or even the pork filling of the pork buns. I’m guessing the “chashu upgrade” will include slices of those same melt in your mouth pork goodness. Haziel got these with hard noodles and had a blast after infusing them with chili oil.

Akamaru Shinaji

That's the pork bun that got taken home!

That’s the pork bun that got taken home!

I got the Akamaru Shinaji (with medium noodles) and I swear this bowl is strong and bold! And very delicious.

The tonkotsu broth gets infused with red miso paste, garlic oil, and soy. The miso pastes adds some spice that is complemented by the right amount of garlic taste. All that together and we have a winner bowl! Next time I am getting this at the special!

Ruminations…

It was great to finally try Ippudo. We were really full and were still able to catch the start of the movie. The serving sizes are akin to Yushoken’s but are slightly more expensive. The pork buns, the nanban karaage, and the Akamaru Shinaji ramen are my favorite dishes. The nanban karaage is the best karaage in town!

This little piggy is going home...

This little piggy is going home…

Have you been to Ippudo Philippines in Megamall? How did you like it? Tell me about it on the comments!


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