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Ippudo Philippines Visit

Sunday, August 16, 2015

 
I love ramen. It's no secret. This is why when I was sent by my boss to do fieldwork in SM Megamall, I was motivated to finish everything quickly so I can already have ramen at Ippudo. 

I know, I'm a lagger when it comes to this one. Our family isn't really the 'goes out every Sunday' kind of family, and we don't really make concrete efforts to try new food places. This is why that when it comes to food, unless I make the trip myself or someone invites me, I don't really get to try what's new because of my family's laggard ways.

This was a Wednesday afternoon which is why there's no need to wait. But I'm certain that on weekends and on mealtimes the lines must be crazy.




One thing I don't like about ramen houses in general is the noise produced by all their greetings. This is why I am so thankful I didn't come at rush hour.

I was handed the menu, and I was immediately drawn to this dish. I got myself an Akamaru Special.


While waiting I stare at the interiors of the place. It's got a whole nice, cozy layout, and you kinda feel like you really are in some sort of Japanese pub.
I'm actually amused by the speed of how the staff move and do things. Not that the staff of other ramen houses are slow, but their speed is off the charts...


Another thing I notice while waiting for my food is their thought process that they even decided to put bag baskets under the dining chairs. This is such a great feature that I think should be employed in other restaurants if permissible because it saves up so much space and spares people from the backaches (backaches because you need to have your bag on your back and you can't really lean on the seat and then you get sore after a while).





My food finally arrives! To be honest, I actually enjoyed the wait because I got so accustomed to being in front of the laptop and working while eating that whenever I eat without working on my laptop, it feels like a refreshing and recharging experience.

The ramen really lives up to expectations. I was impressed that the broth was at that exact point of being super tasty but not being too salty or too oily. It was at the right balance. I can't explain it, but it's the marginal differences that count in ramen. A little too salty and the guest will have a hard time downing the broth, a little too oily or rich and it feels too rancid down the throat. They got things perfectly.

I also loved the sweet soy sauce marinade on the pork belly. In a ramen world where everyone makes their pork very, very salty, this sweet-salty blend is also another refreshing touch to the whole experience.

The noodles are fine. Not groundbreaking, but definitely far from awful. I enjoyed them.

The serving size was more or less what I expected. I mean ramen houses nowadays serve enough food to feed a family in a single bowl...


I also got okonomiyaki. It looked so appetizing on the menu that I just had to get it. Even if I've had horrible okonomiyaki experiences from the past...

But this changed everything. I was mindblown because while I was eating this, I was like, oh this is what authentic okonomiyaki eaten in Japan tastes like. I haven't been to Japan, but I knew that this was the right thing because it was just toooo gooood. As in it was moist on the inside but toasty on the outside. Another thing I appreciated is that the insides really contain more vegetables than batter.

I also don't know why, but they were able to make it moist but not soggy. This mattered to me a lot because I am guessing that other places wash their cabbages too much and do not get the water off before cooking that after the cabbage also releases the moisture in it, the okonomiyaki is no longer moist but is already soggy. No soggy moments with this one, though.


I definitely want to come back here again.

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