Friday, February 15, 2013

Ippudo Ramen Malaysia @ Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Nearly three decades after Ippudo's first stronghold unfurled in Fukuoka, followed by an outpouring of outposts in Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Hong Kong, Taipei & New York, the fabled ramen chain has sailed into KL, buoyed by mighty winds of anticipation.

Ippudo's current soft-launch week means shorter business hours, but everything on its full menu is available; epic lines of customers have coalesced outside this Pavilion outlet _ no shock, since Ippudo KL amassed over 2,000 Facebook fans even before opening.

Snatch a seat at the communal table or the open-kitchen counter, then relax _ the service team is spectacular, efficient with smiles & consideration at all times.

The signatures seize the spotlight, with three types of tonkotsu pork bone broths to choose from: classic Hakata-style white 'shiro,' red-hued 'aka' augmented with miso paste & garlic oil, plus the 'karaka' spicy interpretation.

Top notes of pork loin & belly crescendo in savory succulence, harmonious with lush eggs & noodles whose thinness belies the brio of their bite, in soup with rich, resonant chords of flavor.

Our recommendation might be the 'aka,' thanks to super-sumptuous pork belly that seems perilously close to melting on our chopsticks.

Each bowl costs RM26-RM36. Garlic freshly crushed at the table provides potent pungency.

The star attraction's the ramen, but the swath of side dishes deserve supporting player awards _ everything from the ubiquitous gyoza ...

 ... to unique offerings: gnaw-worthy, garlic-laced young corn, deep-fried with seaweed seasoning.

Pork belly cha-shu makes a welcome reappearance, braised in a steamed bun (RM7) ...

... & coupled with mentaiko, seaweed & shredded omelet strips on rice (RM11).

Steaming-hot: Minced pork & tofu with crispy noodles in hot stone pot (RM18).

Spicy-hot: Prawns with chili mayo dip (RM15), quite the visual treat.

Another advantage: Alcohol's abundantly available, from choya umeshu to yamazaki whisky ...

... to sake by the glass: Echigo No Amakuchi & Karakuchi (RM27 & RM25 respectively).

With Aussie, Argentinean & Chilean wines by the RM25 glass, there's no need to whine.

Hakata Ippudo Ramen,
Level 4, Pavilion Shopping Mall, Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2110-6233

56 comments:

  1. Been waiting for your posts since I couldn't make it there today :) Hehe! The ramen looks great, and wow to the egg... I also like the decor. :)

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    1. Baby Sumo: heheh, ya, i'm really glad and relieved that they decided to open this week instead of next week (i'll be swamped with work next week, unfortunately!) :D ya, the seasoned/flavored egg here is practically perfect, and the decor's very eye-catching and vibrant =)

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  2. Was there just now!(In your fist photo LOL)

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    1. Fui: wow, haha, too bad we didn't manage to say hi to each other! hope you enjoyed your meal :D

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    2. surely there will has chance by one day :D

      for ramen in Malaysia is good enough; for better ramen I will still head to the Ippudo SG

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    3. Fui: okie, it's good to hear your feedback. ya, i enjoyed the ramen here, but i understand that it's still not 100 percent the ideal ramen, heheh :D

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  3. Sounds promising. Hopefully they're as good as the one in Singapore. But I guess the queue would be as long as the one in Singapore too. Can't wait to try them although I think I am going to wait until the queue subsides a bit. Hehe.

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    1. Chong: ya, during peak dinner hours, apparently there's quite a queue outside here. the seating feels a bit limited, though most customers don't linger for very long after finishing their meal. maybe can wait till the end of next week, when the outlet should be fully operational from late morning until the mall closes at night =)

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  4. Definitely the aka then for me...tambah lush eggs and grated garlic please! =)

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    1. Ulric: coming right up! service here is speedy, the ramen should be brought to you within 10 minutes of ordering. and the garlic is complimentary (and possibly free-flow), yay! :D

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    2. Dying to know how was d minced pork & tofu with crispy noodles? Anything unique?...hehe =)

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    3. Ulric: I liked it, it tasted like something with lots of different influences. Kinda spicy, kinda like szechuanese food. Would recommend for sure (unlike the gyoza, which was good but just as about as good as anywhere else's) =)

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  5. Ah! I remember this from back when I was in Hong Kong! The interior is similar! I must go check this out!!

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    1. Sycookies: ooh ya, i think the malaysian branch of ippudo will be an attraction for customers who have fond memories of visiting ippudo in singapore, hong kong, sydney and elsewhere. hope you'll enjoy your meal here! :D

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  6. yums! :) heard that their tofu is awesome. gonna try it next wed!

    Latest: Valentine Surprise

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    1. Fish: the tofu has a lot of umami flavor and is served super-hot, very good for cold, rainy evening. i think you'll like it! :D

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  7. The wall decorations are neat. All of those perfectly arranged bowls and cooking utensils look fab.

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    1. The Yum List: yeah, very cool setting! kudos to the decorator :D

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  8. Looks delicious. I prefer our local noodles though - cheaper too.

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    1. Suituapui: i like noodles of all shapes, sizes and ethnicity, heheh =)

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  9. OMGOSHHHHHHHHH WOOHOOOO!!!! I first tried Ippudo in Singapore a few months back and I'm still dreaming about their ramen and egg!!!!!! OHHHH GOSH!!!! I have to get to Pavillion asap!!!! :P

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    1. Vien: yeah, i think ippudo's egg will be haunting my dreams for sure! and there are so many side dishes here to try too, many of which sound very tempting :D

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  10. Woohoo! It's here. :D

    Do they offer kaedama?

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    1. Bangsar Babe: good news, they do offer kaedama here! great for noodle lovers :D

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  11. yay!!!!!! i've been looking forward to this since i saw their posters up!!! So So So excited! Hopefully its as good as the one i had in tokyo! slurpssssss

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    1. Augustdiners: ya, they've got a terrific strategic location, just above la bodega, with a huge sign that shoppers can spot from outside. i think it's gonna be a big hit at pavilion for many months to come! :D

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  12. Glad to hear that they open in Pavilion, can just walk there, yay!
    I tried the one in Singapore, will go and try this soon.

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    1. CK: heheh, ya, i wish they could open one at klcc too (a bit nearer for me to drive from my office), but i guess they can't, since klcc doesn't allow pork-serving restaurants :D

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  13. Wow, pork belly that melts? That sounds seriously good. But the prospect of having to go to Pavilion is a bit off putting...will they open any more?

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    1. YouHadYourLunch: yeah, that was some seriously succulent belly, heheh! :D they haven't announced any concrete plans for more ramen outlets in kl, but i think it's a distinct possibility! =)

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  14. Awesome! Going today fr lunch!

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    1. Kelly: yay! i wish i could be having an ippudo lunch today too! hope you have a great meal =)

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  15. Replies
    1. TNG: rejoice, ramen lovers! :D

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  16. Replies
    1. Wong: hope you enjoy it! But might have to queue up to get inside during lunch hours :D

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  17. Time to visit this place soon! The ramen looks great!

    Wilson
    PlacesAndFoods.com

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    1. Wilson: it's ramen worth lining up for, i think (as long as the line isn't more than 10 people long, heh) :D

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  18. Looks good...though some pals who dined there yesterday complained of service. Still, I will be popping in tomorrow out of curiosity:D

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    1. Missyblurkit: yeah, lots of curious customers here, i think! oooh, wonder what happened to the service though. we had really great servers, who patiently explained stuff to us, helped us with utensils, and brought out everything from the kitchen very quickly! :D

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    2. Firstly, the staff didn't wipe our table (quite obviously dirty) and we have to call them twice (first time she wiped half of it and left because her colleague called her). No problem with ordering process but we did get a bit annoyed when they didn't explain the last call was also for the drinks. Green tea is really not that difficult to serve and they make more money so why not? They did send it in the end though but the mood is already affected. There was also a little bit of wait for the noodles but not too bad.

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    3. Kelly: yikes, that definitely sounds like errors that shouldn't have been made. i guess i was fortunate during my visit, since much more efficient servers were assigned to my table, and they were excellent. hopefully all the servers will get the hang of things really quickly. oooh, i didn't notice the green tea though, since all we ordered was liquor to drink, heheh :D

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    4. Hahahaha! Yeah I noticed the alcohol. Your bill must be phenomenal.

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    5. Kelly: come to think of it, I think the cost of the alcohol might have been nearly half of the total bill =)

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  19. Actually I been to Japan few times, at there a bowl of ramen is rm45 and above,so personally I still can tolerate for the price, pay a visit to this pavilion outlet yesterday, for me, quite a pleasant bowl of ramen, but I personally love menya mushashi dry ramen (tsu ke men) and gantetsu thick slices of pork, marutama is great as well

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    1. De Wheel of Life: yeah, it's still cheaper for us to enjoy this ramen in pavilion. glad to hear you enjoyed it, and ya, the other outlets you mentioned are also very good =)

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  20. I ate there too. imo, one of the top 3 in Malaysia at the moment along with Santouka and Musashi . in Pavilion at least, Santouka would be looking over its shoulder ,and you can't help but be worried for Kyo-ei.

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    1. Jeffrey: top three is good! ya, i think ippudo will definitely grab a lot of business from santouka. and kyo-ei will be in trouble...

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  21. Aiiyah very average. The singapore outlet seemed to have better QC. Perhaps early days. Still Menya M is my fav! haha

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    1. Ciki: heheh, mixed reactions so far. a lot of people are loving ippudo, but a lot of other people are underwhelmed. but ya, right now the popular bets seem to be either ippudo or menya musashi! :D

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  22. Went to Ippudo just a few days ago.. Tuesday.. guess what? They said it will only be officially opened on 21st February (which was yesterday) I was like.. Arghhhhhh :(

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    1. Sunshine: that's strange, it's been open during lunch and dinner for most of this week, except wednesday, during its launch ceremony. but hope you manage to check it out soon, ya =)

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    2. Yes, apparently after the frustration, bumped into Pavilion's advertorial board stated Japanese Soul Food "Ramen" OPENING on 21st February, Level 4...(facepalm)

      Aye aye, will check it out soon =) thank you

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    3. Sunshine; heh, this was the very rare outlet that actually opened ahead of schedule! :D

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  23. Okay, imma having this for dinner. Thats for the info, yay!! Sometimes is just hard to decide wat to eat.

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    1. Bendan: hope you enjoy it! there might be a long queue on weekends, though it should ease after 9pm =)

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