September 11, 2012

One of my best ramens

Ippudo (一風堂) is one of my best ramen restaurants. Ippudo has started in Fukuoka (福岡) city, the biggest city in Kyushu (九州) since 1985 and developed its branches all over Japan. Recently they also have branches in US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. Though they have widened their business, the quality is always maintained high.

Every restaurant of Ippudo is stylish with the essence of Japanese modern and jazz. Even so, waiters are very cheerful and friendly, and we don't have to hesitate to enter. I always see many individual customers, even woman until midnight. 
Exterior of Ippudo near Okachimachi
Pickles and variety of seasonings 
Shiromaru, basic ramen
Akamaru, a bit spicy ramen
So delicious!
Some pickles are always offered free of charge and we wait for ramen over eating them. Ippudo provides rooibos tea, instead of cold water, which seems to alleviate our guilty for eating high-calorie ramen. The feature of their ramen is tonkotsu (豚骨) soup, made by pork-born bouillon, which is popular in Kyushu. Sometimes, tonkotsu ramens tend to be rough taste which we can easily tired of, but Ippudo's tonkotsu is very sophisticated and distinctive. Noodle is very thin and it is the best combination with the soup.

Anyhow, a bowl of ramen in Ippudo is perfect. We can easily eat up quickly and want to order additional noodle (actually many people do so). If you have chance to find Ippudo and have no dietary restriction on pork, please try it! You never regret. Shiromaru, basic ramen in Ippudo costs around JPY800. You can taste their ramen until 3 am. My rating is 4 out of 5. Gochiso-samadeshita!

Ippudo (一風堂)


  1. How easy for someone who speaks and reads no Japanese would it be to gettin there? Is it just a matter of selecting my ramen from a vending machine (i would guess there are pictures clearly indicating what type of ramen I am ordering) then just wait after the waitstaff to find me a table? Thanks

  2. In big chain ramen shops like "Ippudo(一風堂)", "Ringer Had (リンガーハット)", "Hidakaya (日高屋), etc., there are menus with pictures which you can select your favorite one easily. In these chains, vending machine is not generally introduced. So, first, you can see the menu and then call staff if you decide. All you should do here is just to point at the picture you like. After eating, you need to pay.

    On the other hand, in private or small scale chain ramen shops, yes, there are mostly vending machines at the entrance. Soon after entering a shop, you are requested to choose your ramen and pay for it at the machine. The problem here is menu is always written only in Japanese (though you can guess the price)...and they don't usually prepare pictures.

    So, what I recommend you are;
    - Ask staff about their recommendation. Generally, Japanese are not good at English, but they always try to communicate to the maximum extent possible. If you ask them slowly, they would understand. Even though they could not respond well in English, at least they would point at their best ramen.

    - Or you can just try to push a button. Generally, the first line (horizontal) of buttons on the vending machine is for their best recommendable or standard ramens. So, you can just push the one among the first line.

    Usually, the second and third lines are for customized ramens (like ramen with more grilled pork) or another taste of ramen (if you enter a not-specialized ramen shop, they may prepare all kind of ramen soup such as soy sauce base, miso base and salt base. In this case, the first line is for soy sauce, the second is for miso, the third is for salt, like that.)

    This way is a kind of Russian roulette, but I think you may not make a big mistake. Only please note that the bottom line is usually for toppings, rice or beer. As the price is a bit below (like JPY 100-500) than that of ramens (JPY650-), you may notice.

    Anyway, after buying at the machine, just give your order slip to the staff. The staff find your table and few minutes later your ramen will be served.

    I really hope you will taste nice ramens here:)
    Have fun!