“Ippudo”—starting out as a Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen in Fukuoka, it has expanded all over Japan, and then to the world
“Ramen” has become Japan’s signature food. The Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen is one of the most popular kinds of ramen, and Ippudo’s Tonkotsu Ramen is the top brand. Let us introduce you to Ippudo’s unique menu. If you want to enjoy your stay in Japan, trying out their ramen is a must.
A world brand that started out in a 36-square meter shop
The very first Ippudo started out in Fukuoka City in 1985. The founder, Narumi Kawahara had been managing a restaurant bar when he decided to create a stylish ramen shop where “women can come and eat alone,” with jazz music playing in the background. It was a concept quite different from the mostly men ramen shops which was the norm back then.
As the ‘90s arrived, Ippudo became nationally famous. They opened a shop in Shinyokohama Ramen Museum, their first in the Kanto area. Their reputation expanded as Kawahara won 3 consecutive times and then became a Hall of Famer in a hit TV show “TV Champion” as the best ramen master cook. Today, Ippudo has shops not only in Japan, but in 13 countries and regions, such as New York, Singapore, Taiwan and Shanghai.
Both the noodles and soup keep on evolving
The secret to their success is sure enough, the taste. Their basic taste has always been the “Shiromaru Motoaji,” but they keep making minor changes in the taste almost every year, and for some menus in their overseas shops, they constantly change them every year, thus the number of Ippudo fans continues to grow. Not only are they particular about using different kinds of soup and toppings for each dish, but they also use different kinds of home-made noodles. This also keeps the customers come back for more.
It is Ippudo’s main stream Tonkotsu Ramen, a taste that has been passed on since the shop’s foundation. The soup takes 18 hours to cook, followed by a whole day of low temperature maturing, resulting in a silky soup without any odors, bringing out the rich taste as much as possible. The noodle is a Hakata-style superfine noodle.
Their home-made flavor oil called “olive flavor oil,” and hot miso paste with 5 types of red pepper, including yanninjan, chili bean paste, and more are added to their signature soup. You’ll taste various different tastes and deepness in this one bowl of ramen. Especially made for this rich soup, the noodle’s cross-section is rectangular, making it easier for the soup to coat the noodle.
Ippudo Karaka Men
With Hakata Kinugoshi (silken) Tonkotsu soup as the base, they topped it with meat miso that includes chili bean paste, sweet bean sauce, and more in an original blend. Their home-made chili oil spices up the whole ramen. The noodle is medium thin straight.
Tailored for travelers from overseas
Ippudo has Chinese, Korean, and English menus for travelers from abroad. If you aren’t too good with chopsticks, they have forks for you. A restaurant you must stop by when you come to Japan.
*The above information was last updated June 23, 2017. For further details, please contact the facilities directly.
This article first appeared on JOURNEY of JAPAN.