Saturday, July 28, 2012

#NYC #Foodie Experiences -#Ippudo #Ramen

Mmm...ramen is definitely on my MUST Eat list when I go to Japan, but did you know there's several places famous for ramen in the Big Apple? If you're coming to visit New York City, there's a place where there is always a line-up! That place is Ippudo. Ippudo NYC has it's origins in Japan, where Shigemi Kawahara owns 43 shops. NYC is where Ippudo made it's first overseas debut. This is where my New Yorker friends have all told me I must go to try ramen. However, scared off by the 1.5hr+ wait times, I held off for a long time. You see, they don't take reservations and they don't do take outs. So you have to go and wait for your reservation and eat there. Still, it's always busy!

They are open for lunch from Monday to Saturday 11AM-3:30PM, Sunday 11AM=5PM and for dinner Monday to Thursday 5PM-11:30PM, Friday to Saturday 5PM-12:30AM, and Sunday 5PM-10:30PM. Located at 65 4th Avenue (between 9th and 10th St), NYC, NY, 10003, it is a tad hard to find because of the plain decor on the outside. It was dark at night when I went and I almost missed it.
Chili-infused plum wineTako WasabiShishito
So in the two years that I've been here, I finally went a couple of months ago after a movie screening. It was around 9pm at night and I figured I'll call ahead (212-388-0088) and see how long the wait was. I was told the current estimated wait time was about 1.5 hours but had figured by the time I get there, it should be fine. The inner decor was more posh than I would have imagined for a ramen joint. Haha, the dim lights and modern, sleek design made me think I had stepped into a club. There's a bar up front, while you wait and well, you can be sure to drop some money there on appetizers and drinks. I loved how the bar was cleverly designed with ramen noodles in the counter, samurai sword handles on the tap, and ramen bowls lining the backdrop. I tried the Hannya, a $22 bottle of chili-infused plum wine. It was surprisingly nice with it's mild sweetness and teasing tendrils of spiciness. It's not a very big bottle and you can easily finish it on your own. We also ordered Tako Wasabi (one of our favorite appetizers) and Shisito. Tako Wasa as I like to call it is fresh octopus mixed with a wasabi sauce, it simply tastes wonderful. Shishito are peppers fried. It was weird because despite the fact that they were uber greasy, I couldn't stop downing them! We easily dropped over $60 just on drinks and appetizers. It's a separate tab than your food tab.
ramenExtra ramen serving
Truly, an hour and a half later, we were led to our table. They have quite the simple menu compared to other shops, with limited items on the menu but the SO was determined to try the "Kae-dama", which is what you say when you're nearing the end of your bowl of ramen, and you'd like another serving of ramen for $2. You must still have soup and toppings left over to order this though. The ramen itself was quite tasty and had that nice refreshing and chewy texture to it. Most ramen shops usually have the soft-boiled egg included. Here, however, you order either the soft-boiled (Onsen Tamago) or hard-boiled egg (Nitamago) for $2. It definitely is a little different than other ramen shops and we both quite enjoyed their ramen. For $2, the Kae-dama is well worth it and while both types of eggs are equally delicious, I personally love the soft-boiled egg. You're looking at approximately $15-$20 for a bowl of ramen depending on toppings and extra ramen servings in the evening.

**TIP: Halfway through our meal, around 10:45PM, the place was almost half empty. So, if you want to make it in without waiting, I'd recommend coming near closing time.**

Overall, it was a pretty good culinary experience. The bar will probably end up costing more than your meal itself, which it did for us. Definitely worth a trip to go check it out and I'm sure we'll find ourselves back there sometime late at night. Have you had the pleasure of eating at Ippudo? How does it rank for you?

Have you seen our last NYC Foodie post on Peter Luger Steak House?

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed belong to Whirlwind of Surprises and are NOT influenced in any way. Please view my full disclosure, TOS, and privacy policy. Please take the time to enter my other giveaways while you're here.

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                                                         Until next time,


Ellen said...[Reply]

Wow that all just looks amazing!

East9thStreet said...[Reply]

First you show me steak, now you show me noodles? Are you trying to make me visually gain! So yummy!!

Cinny said...[Reply]

@East9thStreet, LOL, you can handle a couple pounds :P Living in NYC is's hard to stay away from the good food!

Crunchy Frugalista said...[Reply]

I never thought that you would go out to eat for Raman. I love New York City. I will have to check this restaurant out when I visit next time.

Jeannette said...[Reply]

The food looks amazing! I might have to check this out next week!

NYC Single Mom said...[Reply]

Great place and you are right the wait is terrible. We go super early because children do not like to wait for 2 hours for dinner.

Mariah @ said...[Reply]

I am hungry and this post didn't help! I cannot wait to try some great food in NYC!

About a Mom said...[Reply]

I didn't know you could get Ramen in a restaurant and it looks really good!

krystle said...[Reply]

Yum my mouth is watering!!

Unknown said...[Reply]

Those dishes sound so good! I love Japanese food, I'm getting hungry just reading:)

Darcy said...[Reply]

I've never known of ramen that wasn't in microwavable bowls. Interesting to see so many variations, though I don't think I'd wait that long.

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