A shrill "Irasshaimase!" rings out as you step through the curtained doorway. An instantly recognisable welcome, Ippudo is about to debut its second Sydney restaurant. Ippudo Central Park, along with several other ramen establishments have swooped onto the Sydney dining scene and swaddled us in a blanket of tonkotsu and egg noodles. Oh my! Set to open in early October, their second venue joins in the vertical garden fun at Central Park in Chippendale. Shiny and new, this outlet will likely do as well as their first restaurant; delivering pork buns and ramen soup noodles to exacting standards.
|Ippudo's slick panelled interior, with everything just so|
Since 1985, what first started as a noodle shop in Fukuoka, Ippudo has expanded greatly now with outlets across Japan and the world. The menu offers a nice selection of noodle soups, predominantly using a tonkotsu soup base (made from slow cooked pork bones). But if Ippudo is known for one thing, it would have to be their pork buns - made from a fluffy sweet dough, each has a slice of pork belly and is a delicious morsel with a dash of Japanese mayonnaise.
Sadly, on this visit the pork buns were unavailable! Something I had been looking forward to as well. What a shame!
|How refreshing, a place that is actually lit! Nothing worse than having to divine the menu...|
With quick and efficient service, each dish came out as if carefully choreographed from the kitchen. The service on the night was impeccable, something that the Ippudo staff pride themselves on. The choice was easy, each soup noodle has a "Special" option which includes additional pork belly, boiled egg and toppings. Top tip: highly recommended for a man-sized meal! If you're looking for value for money, perhaps Ippudo is not the best choice. A bowl of ramen (albeit a BIG one) can cost you close to $25. The staff will also ask how you would like your noodles cooked - this was something new and a nice touch.
|Seared salmon sushi: temari salmon sushi served with mentai mayo sauce and avocado. This dish was a good one and highly recommended. Super fresh salmon wraps sushi rice and a generous dollop of sauce, a burst of flavour with each mouthful|
|Another glorious close up. Hungry yet?|
Ippudo Central Park certainly succeeds in giving us a Japanese ramen restaurant for a quick and easy meal. Perfect for a cold winter's day this is comfort food at its best. Might I add that the little roasted sesame seed grinder is a brilliant addition to the table, making for delicious seasoning (which I became slightly obsessed by). For all the perks, occasionally the noise emanating from the kitchen and wait staff can become quite clamorous, particularly at the peak of service. Ippudo is set to become a staple amongst Chippendale and Chinatown residents regardless. I suggest you give it a whirl, if at least once. And, hello food baby!
|Lights, camera, action! October 2nd is the official opening|
Gourmand dined courtesy of Ippudo Central Park (Level 1 RB07, 28 Broadway, Chippendale). Thank you for having me!