Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hakata Ippudo (Westagte) - I Am So Disappointed

It has been more than a year since my first visit to Hakata Ippudo (Westgate) and the ramen were mouth-watering good back then. I have been wondering if they have managed to keep up the quality of the food, so when my girlfriend and I met up I brought them to Ippudo (Westgate). 

The spiciness of the Spicy Chicken Wings is manageable even for non-spicy-lovers like me so anyone should be able to eat them. It is sweet and spicy and the marination has worked its way into every fiber of the the chicken, but 
my girlfriends and I find it a little too salty. 

Shiomaru is the signature ramen at Ippudo. This is the classic Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen served with thin straight noodles, pork belly and pork loin, bean sprouts, black fungus and spring onion. There are 3 styles to choose from, each with different ingredients: Shiomaru Chushu, Shiomaru Tamago, Shiomaru Motoaji or the all-ingredients Shiomaru Special. Everything is alright except that the tonkotsu broth is so salty, my girlfriend had no choice but to leave almost half of her noodles untouched. 

Akamaru is a blend between Ippudo's tonkotsu broth with miso paste and garlic oil, giving an extra depth of flavor to the creamy tonkotsu broth. There are 3 styles to choose from, each with different ingredients: Akumaru Chushu, Akumaru Tamago, Akumaru Motoaji or the all-ingredients Akumaru Special. Again, the broth is salty. 

Karaka is the one for spice-lovers where tonkotsu broth is mixed with spices, sweet and spicy miso bean sauce, hot chili oil and Japanese peppers. The spiciness is tolerable and it would have been even more addictive if the tonkotsu broth had not been so salty. There are 3 styles to choose from, each with different ingredients: Karaka Chushu, Karaka Tamago, Karaka Motoaji or the all-ingredients Karaka Special. 

This homemade Japanese-style Matcha Tiramisu had me swooning with love with my first bite. The matcha cream, mascarpone cheese and matcha sponge cake all come together to create a rich and creamy dessert with just the right intensity of matcha, housed in a beautiful black box that gives it an air of elegance. This is the one thing I will come back to Ippudo for, time and again. 

Matcha Ice, which is more commonly known as Green Tea Ice-Cream, is smooth and silky. It would have been a great dessert to end a (salty) meal, but it pales in comparison with the rich and creamy Matcha Tiramisu.

I am guessing that Hakata Ippudo is having an oversupply of salt when we visited so they decided to over-season the ramens, I hope that this is an one-off incident and I will be back after I have managed to forget this nightmarish dining experience. 

Addresses, telephone number and opening hours of all Hakata Ippudo outlets can be found here on their website.

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