NYC Ippudo has been a staple for ramen over the past several decades and has since become very mainstream. It’s fitting that this would be Goldyboy’s first review.
Straight to the point, Ippudo uses two different types of house-made noodles that are made at scale with a solid level of care. The noodles themselves are semi-firm and thin. They aren’t customizable but they are high quality and thus receive a solid 75% score.
The meat we tried is the pork chashu which was also finely made. It was clear that the meat was well marinated over a lengthy period of time. The flavors were there but I did find the pork chashu to be a little bit tough. I also had a chance to taste the chicken chashu which was honestly more “melt in your mouth”. All things considered, it was still a solid 75%.
The broth was also similarly made with care and complexity. Depth of flavor is key for any bowl of ramen. During this visit, I had the Akamaru bowl. This particular broth has an umami dashi added to it in order to add to the complexity (You can see it in the picture below). Honestly, the dashi saved this broth as I fear it may have been single-layered without it. That being said, in the end it rated a solid 75%.
From an execution standpoint, Ippudo NY does a good job marrying their ingredients. As I mentioned, the umami dashi that is added really brings the broth to a level beyond average. They also have a bunch of additional toppings you can add like eggs, corn, nori, menma, etc. All of the ingredients work very well together and never fight each other.
Lastly, from an aesthetic point of view, this is the only place where Ippudo falls short. You can see the Akamaru Ramen in the picture below as served. Looking around at other visitors, the presentation seems to be consistent. Some may not equally weight presentation but it does have a strong effect on your experience as it is the first thing you take in before taste or perhaps even smell. The presentation appears a little messy and less enticing which is deceiving based on the qualities described above.
BONUS: Here at Goldyboy we also had the opportunity to try out the pork and shrimp buns which had bold flavors and textures. We also tried the Karaka spicy ramen with chicken chashu which may have been better than the Akamaru overall. The complexity of flavors executed with chicken chashu and spice were even more impressive than the Akamaru ramen.
Feel free to check out NYC Ippudo with the link above.