Look at this bowl of ramen and tell me how much I’ve sinned. Well technically this wasn’t my bowl but Rosie’s. However, mine was even richer, with the deeply flavored milky pork-bone tonkotsu broth further enhanced by red chili sauce and some unidentifiable dark colored oil/sauce. Any richer and I could be drinking melted jello. For those not into the rich Hakata styled broth, miso and shoyu ramen are also available, with a list of other items including fried chicken and salad. I must emphasize though that the Hakata broth is what’s famous. The char siu was good too, fatty and reasonably thick with a clean taste, and the ramen, thinner than usual, was cooked well, although not quite springy enough for me. Then again, I’m into very al dente noodles. On this unseasonably cold Friday night, a big bowl of ramen from Ippudo, the new ramen-ya currently in soft-opening mode certainly hits the spot. Not cheap though, as a $13 bowl of noodles would probably be on the higher range of ramen prices even in this city where price inflation is the norm. However, this isn’t your regular hole-in-the wall, but part of a renowned chain. It is also the flashiest of its counterparts, complete with a bar (decorated with bowls on the walls and squares of dried instant ramen below the glass counter), ample seating (pleasantly surprised by the different seating arrangements that caters for different group sizes) and space between seats so that I can slurp my noodles without knocking elbows with my neighbors. They also serve specialty cocktails, quite the departure from my neighborhood Men Kui Tei and Sapporo noodle shops. For noodle fiends, this is a worthy addition to the local ramen scene.
65th 4th Avenue (Between 9th & 10th Sts)