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Ippudo - is it truly THE best?

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foodiechan Jun 18, 2011 10:34 AM

Greetings folks:

Recently I've been on a ramen binge, and had sampled quite a few joints in the City.

Obviously people often refer Ippudo as the standard bearer. But do you agree?

No doubt the guys at Ippudo put out a solid product, as their pork-based broth was simply sensational. That said, their toppings weren't that outstanding when compared to other bowls that I had, and their charshu was simply average as well. Their noodles I do like, but I also find other styles offered in the City intriguing, and thus not "attached" to any particular kind.

So if ramen is mostly about the broth (to which I belong to this camp), then there's reason for Ippudo to be crowned the Ramen king. But I am sure there are other considerations out there among those addicted to ramen.....for once I am not a big fan of the wait times at Ippudo.

Your thoughts? And here are a few places that I thought put out a great product too:

Naruto's charshu
Takumi's sho-yu based broth
Terakawa for their toppings and assorted condiments
Kuboya has a savory blended broth
Toto Ramen's spicy broth and their homemade ma-yu

Join in on this discussion!
http://ramennewyork.blogspot.com/

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Naruto Ramen
1596 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10128

Ippudo
65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

Terakawa Ramen
18 Lexington Ave, New York, NY 10010

Totto Ramen
366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

Ramen Takumi
90 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

Kuboya
536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009

 
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  1. Silverjay RE: foodiechan Jun 18, 2011 01:45 PM

    I'm in Tokyo 2-4 weeks out of the year and will always travel and wait in line for superlative ramen based on latest Ramen Database(http://ramendb.supleks.jp/) and Tabelog coverage.Relative to what is available here in NYC, Ippudo is the only one in the city I would go out of my way for and wait in line. They do most everything well- soup, noodles, toppings. The rest of the shops are serviceable and are worth considering if you are in the area or looking for something specific. I would be excited if another chain shop from Japan (preferably non-tonkotsu Hakata-based) made inroads here in New York City.

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    Ippudo
    65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

    1. Delucacheesemonger RE: foodiechan Jun 18, 2011 07:36 PM

      l actually liked the Ippudo in NY far better than one of the chain in Tokyo l had been to. Silverjay is one of the most knowledgeable posters on the Japan board and l would trust his judgment as well.

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      Ippudo
      65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

      5 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
        s
        Simon RE: Delucacheesemonger Jun 18, 2011 08:42 PM

        i agree on both points...

        Deluca, i've never been to the Ippudo in Tokyo, but i've been to the Fukuoka original a few times since i spend a lot of time there, and similar to your take, i like the NYC Ippudo better than the Fukuoka one: more variety in NYC and the broth at the Fukuoka shop is just too greasy for my taste (plus Fukuoka has so many ramen places that are far better than Ippudo, so it pales in comparison to those -- some of the times when i've been to the Fukuoka Ippudo, a lot of the customers were Japanese tourists from other parts of Japan, while the Fukuoka locals i know generally have a different place as their local fav)...

        but in NYC, yeah, Ippudo is the only really top-notch place i've been to...though i had some decent miso ramen once at the place that's next door to Minca but i can't remember the restaurant name...

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        Minca
        536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009

        Ippudo
        65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

        1. re: Simon
          r
          rschwim RE: Simon Jun 18, 2011 08:49 PM

          Re; Ippudo in Japan... I went to the Ippudo in Roppongi expecting something like the NY branch. It was about 10 seats at the counter and no AC in the summer... I remember the heat more than the ramen unfortunately.

          Anyway the NYC branch is my favorite by far that I've had around town

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          Ippudo
          65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

          1. re: Simon
            s
            sushiman RE: Simon Jun 19, 2011 09:30 PM

            NExt time you are in Jukuoka look up a place named Shinpuu. It is the best ramen in Japan.

            Once you eat there, you will realize how ordinary and commercial Ippudo is.

            I ate a both in Fukuoka and difference was stark.

            It depressing not to be able to get anything like that in NYC.

            PS-Two other places to try are Seo near 2nd Ave. I have not tried, but am told it is decent.

            And on Friday and Saturday nights after Midnight at 1 or 8 in WIlliamsburg. They make a different one every week and it is surprisingly good.

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            Ippudo
            65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

            Seo
            249 E 49th St, New York, NY 10017

            1. re: Simon
              Silverjay RE: Simon Jun 20, 2011 04:50 AM

              Ippudo is good, popular, and continues to grow in Japan and abroad (new shop just opened in Seoul). There was just the Ebisu location in Tokyo for a long time, but they are opening up everywhere now. There was an article in a Japanese news service when Ippudo NY launched that discussed how they altered the soup recipe for American tastes.

              The place next to Minca is Kuboya. Soup is good there.

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              Kuboya
              536 E 5th St, New York, NY 10009

              1. re: Simon
                skylineR33 RE: Simon Jun 23, 2011 10:07 PM

                I have been to Ippudo in NYC, Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka (the main branch). The broth of the one in Fukuoka is the most fatty and the one in NYC is so mild in comparison. I much prefer the one in Fukuoka, in fact, all the Tonkotsu ramen in Fukuoka are very fatty in comparison that you can see lots of pork fat/lard bits floating on the broth, they are all very greasy !

            2. r
              Ricky RE: foodiechan Jun 20, 2011 06:58 AM

              Ippudo is probably the best regularly served tonkotsu in Manhattan, but I'm not too impressed. Then again I'm more of a Shio\Shoyu\Gyokai\seafood ramen broth kind of guy, of course I want the unobtainable.

              Anyone noticed that Minca\Kambi are doing really bad renditions of Jiro style ramen and Gyokai Tsukemen? I ordered the tsukemen at Kambi against better judgement hoping for some semblance to Rokurinsha\Tetsu but was really really really bad, thin salty broth.

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              Ippudo
              65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

              Kambi
              351 E 14th St, New York, NY 10003

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ricky
                Silverjay RE: Ricky Jun 20, 2011 07:14 AM

                Yes, I recently ordered the Kambi tsukemen with the exact same hope as I prefer blended broths as well. They use katsuobushi powder to get broth to stick to noodles just like Rokurinsha. The broth wasn't thin but it wasn't particularly good. And the noodles were lousy.

              2. i
                InfoMofo RE: foodiechan Jun 24, 2011 09:36 AM

                Of the places you mention in comparison to Ippudo, I like Totto ramen, but they have all the same downsides of Ippudo. The wait there can be just as bad, if not worse, as they are very tiny and there are extreme line shenanigans going on there.

                I have not been a fan of Ramen Takumi since they changed hands and name. The menu is the same as the old Setagaya menu, but I have had serious quality control issues with their product since they changed.

                I always have a consistent, delicious meal at Ippudo. It is reliable and great for bringing out of towners to on a relatively cheap (Relative to other restaurants, NOT relative to other ramen joints) and always enjoyable meal.

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                Ippudo
                65 4th Ave, New York, NY 10003

                Totto Ramen
                366 W 52nd St, New York, NY 10019

                Ramen Takumi
                90 University Pl, New York, NY 10003

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