I’m back! So. As some of you who follow me on twitter might know, I snuck off to Hong Kong for a quick weekend trip to MC at my cousin’s wedding. I didn’t talk about it here because my mum reads my blog (hi mum! miss you!) and I wanted to surprise my parents in Hong Kong. They had no idea I was going and it was brilliant, though my dad did almost have a heart attack when we showed up so maybe I should re-think surprises for senior older over-60 citizens from now on.

The weekend was HEC. TIC. Lots of family lunches and breakfasts and general catch ups, but Panu and I did manage to sneak off for a couple of meals. On Saturday, we met up with my friend Mas for lunch at Ippudo, Causeway Bay.

Ippudo is a fairly reputable ramen chain, known for causing great amounts of queueing and hunger through Asia and NYC. I first visited Ippudo in NYC in December 2010, fell in love with their delicious broth, perfectly al dente (can I say that for a non-Italian dish?) noodle and scrumptious pork bun, so I was keen to check out their Hong Kong branches.

The Tsim Sha Tsui branch opened a while ago, but the one in Causeway Bay (across the street from Time Square) is new, so we expected a queue… and queue we did.

Once we were seated, I could barely contain my excitement about the pork buns. In truth, I prefer Momofuku’s pork buns (here in my top 5 NYC eats) but I remembered Ippudo’s to also be pretty darn delicious. We ordered two portions, with two buns per portion. When the buns came out, I was a little surprised. Not in a good way. Check it out:

They give you one bun cut in half and call that two? Proper what the fruck, right? I didn’t actually complain because hey that’s what the blog is for! No really, I didn’t think about it at the time, but I came back and checked my Ippudo NYC photos and we definitely got two buns per portion (and we really should have based on the pricing here). And it really isn’t as good as Momofuku’s, anyway.

Luckily for Ippudo, they were redeemed in my eyes by the once again awesome ramens. Panu had the shoyu tonkotsu (top photo), a sweet soy base with pork, sprouts, bamboo shoots and spring onions.

Mas had the akamaru shinaji, which I had in NYC. This broth is honestly orgasmic, full of pork, garlic oil, miso, black fungus, spring onions and chilli. Seriously, to die for.

I went a little simpler and ordered the basic miso tonkotsu, with pork, sprouts, bamboo shoots and spring onions. I loved this, but ordered an extra portion of pork neck because you can’t ever get enough nice tender pork, right? 😉

Did I love Ippudo? Why yes, yes I still did, despite the rude shock from the half-sized pork bun portions. Mas tells me though that ramen is starting to take Hong Kong by storm, so I’d hazard a guess that soon, the city will be littered with lots of ramen joints, all boasting the best broth in town. Guess someone has to go try them all and let us know.

If only I lived in Hong Kong.

Hakata Ippudo
2F, 8 Russell Street
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
+852 2892 2387
website  / OpenRice

16 Thoughts on “Ippudo Causeway Bay, Hong Kong: pork buns and ramen

  1. You’re making me weep! There is nowhere to get proper ramenz in New Zealand, NOWHERE!

  2. Weeeee! I want to see more Hong Kong posts from you. Planning a random holiday there in a month so would love to know where to go because I have no idea. Ramen sounds comforting

  3. *Drool* I miss good ramen (didn’t really understand good ramen until going to japan – it is sadly missing in London), and that does look good. All that miso and porky broth. Orgasmic sounds about right (you didn’t pull a “Harry-met-Sally” moment in there did you?).

    And, at the risk of coming a cross as a bit “cool-teachery” (woo, check out my leather elbow pads) isn’t the Asian equivalent of al dente QQ? Or am I, as is often the case, completely missing the point ;D

  4. Look at Grubworm with his noodle vocab! Yes, the noodles should be a bit QQ!! I am so jealous. Although I’ve never been to Ippudo, I’m adding it to my list of places to try (even if I have to go to NY or HK) and of places to bring to London.

  5. Sasa: well my dear, maybe you should come visit me in Sydney and I’ll take you for some good ramen! What a genius idea!!

    Phuoc: I only have a couple more things to post about, we didn’t get to go out much!! But yes, a random holiday there sounds great, it’s such an easy city to spend a few days in (or more).

    Grubworm: You are totally more Chinese than me, I am the worst Chinese and Malaysian person on the planet. QQ it is, I have heard that term before now that you’ve said it! Well, it was perfectly QQ 😉

    Mr Noodles: You need to get you butt over to NYC or HK! I’m surprised you haven’t tried Ippudo, they might yet win the golden noodle trophy! 😉

  6. I miss HK already =( But that’s coz I miss family as well as the food, course! I tried the ramen at Ryo’s outpost in Sheung Wan – heart-cloggingly epic haha.

  7. My 2 favorite foods. Sometimes catty you make me die a little inside.

  8. Rita: I think a heart clogging broth is the best kind, right?? 😉

    Sean: Aaaaaaah… I want to say sorry but I’m not! hehe 😀

  9. Oh no! That’s no good about the half buns (although points for nerve! :P). Perhaps it was a mistake, I always feel the need to ask (much to my friend’s/husband’s embarrassment).

  10. Seriously, they need to open Ippudo in London. Your pics have made me drool.

    (I’m going to go and email Ippudo now and beg them.)

  11. also, my boyfriend lives one street away from Ippudo in NYC and he has NO DESIRE to go and visit. Sigh.

  12. I so want to return to Hong Kong it hurts…..

  13. Lorraine: I totally should have asked but I wasn’t 100% sure we got two buns in NYC til I came home and checked!! BAHHHHH.

    Lizzie: WTF is wrong with the bf?! Sigh. But yes, Ippudo needs to get its butt to London AND Sydney, although Sydney has a couple of other good ramen joints too. I want some more pork bun action and Momofuku here only has a degustation right now >.< Mzungu: I just left and I want to go back already.

  14. Pork buns! Shame they only gave you one cut in half though – cheeky!
    They’ve got an Ippudo in Singapore too… surely they can come to London and Sydney. One can hope.

    p.s. Momofuku Noodle Bar ramen was much better when I visited in Dec, was a pleasant surprise!

  15. I love that you surprised your parents – lucky I didn’t say anything on here as I did not realise it was a surprise. Now why, why did I not manage to go here during my trip to HK. Looks amazing.

  16. Su-yin: Yeah I liked Momofuku Noodle Bar’s ramen too but I still think Ippudo’s broth is better. Momofuku’s pork buns are the best though!! Man I need to go back to NYC!!

    Gourmet Chick: Haha yeah they were SO surprised 🙂 There are so many places to eat in HK though – you went to some awesome places!

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