Our dear friend, Gaea, arrived last night and we decided to take her out to dinner. I let my husband Joel choose the place because it would be his last "good" meal before his scheduled wisdom tooth extraction the next day. It was tricky. he had to really think about what he was craving for. And his final decision was RAMEN. He wanted good ramen. There was just one place to go...IPPUDO Japanese Noodle Ramen Brasserie.
When we got there, they told us that there was a 2-hour wait time. We all agreed that we could just hang out in the bar first while waiting. There weren't a lot of people outside anyway so we figured it wouldn't really take 2 hours! We ordered some drinks and appetizers. Celine, who was still on her vegan diet, got a plate of 'Shishito' (deep-fried Japanese peppers). The rest of us got the famous Hirata Buns (Pork and Chicken). I haven't had pork buns in a long time so I was extra excited for it.
HIRATA PORK BUNS
These are pillowy soft buns with slivers of Berkshire pork (so tender it melts in your mouth) combined with a special sweet sauce, japanese mayo and lettuce. Certainly a "swine sensation" especially to a lot of my FCI friends! haha!
Two hours passed and we were actually getting a bit annoyed. Each of us started taking turns asking the hostess when our table would be ready. Gaea half-jokingly said, "Guys, I hope this wait is worth it!?!". And just when we were in the brink of giving up and leaving, they finally gave us our table. As soon as we were seated, we quickly glanced at the menu and immediately knew what we wanted. We were restless and so hungry. Sharing with you the meal we had to wait 2 HOURS for;
For starters, Joel and I got their special scallops carpaccio served with a thinly sliced jalapeno, a dot of spicy paste and a little splash of olive oil. The scallops were undeniably fresh and whole combination was truly appetizing.
Joel opted for the special ramen which he absolutely adored.
Joel's SPECIAL RAMEN
Celine's VEGETABLE RAMEN
I didn't have a chance to try it because I was so engrossed with the ramen I ordered but she said it tasted pretty good for something Vegan (Cel, feel free to share how this tasted!)
AKAMARU MODERN RAMEN
Coco, Gaea and I ordered the Akamaru Modern Ramen. This ramen uses the same soup base that Ippudo is very well-known for...the "tonkotsu" broth which has a meaty and somewhat smoky flavor. It is garnished with a little pork, scallions, a dash of garlic oil, a soyish splash, some more vegetable and ofcourse the RAMEN...the white, thin, unrisen, slurp-worthy Harata noodles that are the Japanese analog to al-dente pasta! All these ingredients set off this umami bomb!
So needless to say, the wait was well worth it! I hope we didn't disappoint our visiting friend.