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.