Tag Archives: Ippudo Westfield Sydney

Ippudo Sydney blogger event in Westfield’s 5th floor

[adsensea]Thanks to David Coates at Ippudo, I was invited to sample ramens and to discover the story behind Ippudo!

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner

I came to Ippudo Sydney on the very first day it opened. I did not order ramen that day as there was a heatwave… All the bloggers commented on the whys I had not tried the famed ramen… and I sure felt like I had missed the amusement ride of my life. As such, when winter came, I got back to sample couple of ramen, making up for my faux pas. I never took the time to blog about the multiple ramen bowls I ate nor amend the first post, but better late than never!

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner - Lychee Mojito with Rum, lychee liqueur, mint, lime and soda AUD 16
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner – Lychee Mojito with Rum, lychee liqueur, mint, lime and soda AUD 16

I came in early, so the restaurant was a third full at 5.45pm… but filled up pretty quickly for a monday evening. I was impressed to see a queue of customers by 6.30pm! I was offered a welcome drink, and chose a lychee mojito (AUD 16) which was a delight! Second drink I ordered later on was Aragoshi Umeshu (AUD 11).

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner - Umeshu on the rocks AUD 11
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner – Aragoshi Umeshu on the rocks AUD 11

The pork bun was awesome, as usual… It is and has always been Monsieur and I’s must have each and every time we came, so I’m pretty happy we get one each! That being said, the pork to bun ratio has sensibly improved from the first time we came, and I’m very happy to get more of that pork… that takes ages to cook!

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner - Pork bun AUD 4
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner – Pork bun AUD 4

After this little mise en bouche, the manager explains the story of Ippudo, and how the first flagship store opened in Hakata, South West of Japan. If there’s one thing I love more than talking about food, it is to listen to someone who can talk extensively about food (Yes… I’m a maniac!) The night sounds promising!

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner - The ramen chef and the manager!
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner – The ramen chef and the manager!

I’ve learned a few things:

- Ramen are of chinese origin, and when it reached Japan, it became the soul food.

- Ramen and pasta share 3 classic ingredients: water, salt and flour… but Ramen have something more: kansui! A secret ingredient that reacts with the wheat, giving it a bouncy and springy texture

- the milky broth that comes with the ramen was accidentally created, when a chef mixed oil with water and boiled the two liquids… creating milk from the emulsion.

- ramen’s broth was very very stinky… And Hakata (the city) apparently still remains very smelly to this day. So Ippudo keeps its customer satisfied, it throws the water to get rid of the smell!

Ippudo blogger dinner - photo maniacs
Ippudo blogger dinner – photo maniacs

I spent a very educational and enjoyable evening! And after a photo shoot session – where we were explained that ramen had a very short life span once they were cooked – we got to sample 3 kinds of ramen:

1. Ippudo Shiromaru (AUD 15): The most classical ramen ever. The first hakata style noodles they served in their flagship store. It has thin noodles, pork loin, cabbage, black mushrooms and shallots.

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner - Ippudo Shiromaru AUD 15
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner – Ippudo Shiromaru AUD 15

The pork being used here is pork loin, much leaner than the pork used in other ramen bowls. The manager explains us that there is a different level of noodles softness we can order: Yawa being the very soft ones, to barikata being the super hard one (the ramen take only 5 seconds to cook!). Apparently, some madmen would order Harigare ramen, literally meaning steel wire ramen – cooked for 2 seconds, if they’re in a hurry and can’t wait three more seconds! For those who can bear to eat raw ramen out of the package, the ultimate solution would be the koneotoshi style ramen, meaning powder dropper… and taking less than 1 second to cook!

2. Ippudo Akamaru (AUD 20 with the pork belly)

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner - Ippudo Akamaru with pork Chashu AUD 20
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner – Ippudo Akamaru with pork Chashu AUD 20

This ramen has no miso in the broth, but the red paste contains miso, minced pork, and to me… has a bolognese flavour. It is my favourite ramen among all the ramen we’ve sampled. The pork being used here is the pork belly or Chashu and mamma mia, it’s Oh So Good. Tender and melting in my mouth. I want more (though… I’m having too much already!)

3. Ippudo Karaka (AUD 21 with pork belly aka Chashu)

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner - Ippudo Karaka with pork Chashu AUD 21
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner – Ippudo Karaka with pork Chashu AUD 21

This is Ippudo’s signature dish, a modern version of Hakata noodles. These noodles, along with the Shiromaru ramen, were the ones I had tried with Monsieur. The red paste that sits on top is spicy, contrary to the Akamaru ramen, but the spiciness is far from overwhelming and very gentle. The ramen being used here are wavy ones (contrary to the noodles used for the two previous ramen sampled, which are straight), so the miso gets to tangle in said waves.

“Does anyone know about the 5th taste sense?” asks the manager… All the bloggers nod but me… “Umami dama” he says. You’ve got saltiness, sweetness, sourness and bitterness. The 5th sense is depth. So… Did you know about Umami dama?

Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner - gift pack
Ippudo Sydney Blogger dinner – gift pack

Mademoiselle in Sydney was invited by Ippudo and left with a gift pack that had a pair of chopsticks, an Ippudo spoon, and a piece of fabric that Monsieur believes, should be worn on my head next time I cook ramen for him :)

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Japanese Restaurant Ippudo at Westfield’s 5th Level

Monsieur and I wanted to head to Westfield’s food court but realized a new restaurant had popped up. It is Ippudo’s first day at Westfield’s 5th level and we decide to head there and give this new Japanese restaurant a go!

Ippudo in Sydney's Westfield, new Japanese restaurant
Ippudo in Sydney’s Westfield, new Japanese restaurant

The waitress holding menus outside aren’t the pushy one you get to see in Chinatown’s main alley, they’re inviting but not in any overwhelming way! They promptly seat us in the back of the restaurant. This is a good spot as we get to look at the kitchen!  They all greet you the “Chef Gallery way”, but instead of ni hao, you hear “you’re welcome in Japanese” (wish I had kept that one in mind, but food was all I could think of).

Ippudo Pork Bun AUD 4.00 was our favourite
Ippudo Pork Bun AUD 4.00 was our favourite

We started with the Pork Bun AUD 4 which turns out to be our favourite savoury dish so far. The Pork to bun ratio is great, the bun is soft though probably too soft on the bottom, but the taste is just spot on. We hesitate reordering another one but decide to top up on the Shrimp Bun AUD 5 instead.

Ippudo shrimp bun with deep fried shrimp and original ippudo sauce AUD 5
Ippudo shrimp bun with deep fried shrimp and original ippudo sauce AUD 5

This one isn’t as good, the shrimp is fresh, but the deep fried coating is soggy and far from the crispiness you’d expect when deep fried is advertised. We prefer by far, the Pork Bun. The Ippudo gyoza AUD 6 for 5 arrive very promptly and though they’re good, they’re definitely on the small side. The ginger topping them is too strong for both of us, and its boldness hides all the gyoza’s flavour, so I think ginger being there is actually more about aesthetics.

Ippudo Gyoza Hakata style Pan Fried Dumplings AUD 6 for 5
Ippudo Gyoza Hakata style Pan Fried Dumplings AUD 6 for 5

Next to come is the salad with original dressing AUD 10 (add 2 for avocado). The greens are fresh and the dressing is great, though overall, the choice of greens remains basic (aside from the nori that seats on top). It’s good if you’re after a healthy option, as they give you the sauce on the side (we poured everything) and there’s just the right amount! Avocado was also fresh, but I guess I would have preferred to have them in!

Ippudo Salad with optional avocado AUD 10+2
Ippudo Salad with optional avocado AUD 10+2

Aside from the Pork bun, we also loved the Simmered Pork or Chashu Gohan AUD 5.5. That little bowl of rice with sweet and savoury pork belly was so good!!!! I guess it definitely has something to do with the way they cook pork here, so next time, there’s a great chance we get something that involves pork belly!! :)

Ippudo Salad Chashu Gohan simmered Pork belly with rice AUD 5.5
Ippudo Chashu Gohan simmered Pork belly with rice AUD 5.5

As for dessert, there’s one they’ve tried to give us on two accounts, which is the Blue Mountains AUD 13. We didn’t order it but had our eyes on it… As they prepared it already and Ice cream melts, they gave it to us anyway and in the end, it came down to be complimentary!  It involves green tea ice cream, red beans, mandarin oranges and apricots and is by far, our favourite dessert.

Ippudo Blue Mountains AUD 13 Parfait with green tea ice cream, red beans, mandarin oranges and apricots
Ippudo Blue Mountains AUD 13

our Black sesame Panna Cotta AUD 7 comes in the end and isn’t what I expected, I wanted more of the black sesame flavour. Monsieur is quite content with it and eats my share gladly. I find it tasty (I love black sesame) though a tad heavy. I’m not convinced on the watery sauce that surrounds the panna cotta as it doesn’t look like the creamy sauce pictured on their menu. We’re glad we had the blue mountains!!!

Ippudo Black Sesame Kurogoma Panna Cotta AUD 7
Ippudo Sesame Pana Cotta AUD 7

Overall the bill comes down to just AUD 39.5, and even if we had to pay for the Blue Mountains, we’d think this still is a great deal. Ippudo is a great addition to Westfield and we will be back to have more of their pork buns!!!

Ippudo - our bill
Ippudo – our bill

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