New York: Ippudo NY

Thanks to my sister's new obsession with Twitter, we managed to score 4 tickets to the Colbert Report. My sister did some research on the Colbert fan forum early in the morning and her findings led us to arrive at the studio 2.5 hours before the doors were to open in order to get in line. Two of my friends came to meet us in line later. Fortunately, one of them came bearing a box of Magnolia cupcakes. Those cupcakes were enough to carry us through the show, but by the end of the taping, we were all famished.

I'd heard a lot about Ippudo and had wanted to check it out last year when I visited New York, but didn't get the chance to. Luckily neither of my friends had tried Ippudo yet and both were open to giving it a go:

Reviews online caution about the crazy long waits. Everyone says to go at an "odd time." I tried asking around to figure out what qualified as an "odd time" but got no definite answer. I figured that 9:30pm on a Monday night would be odd enough. I was wrong.

We ended up waiting close to an hour before we were seated:

Love the decor of Ippudo. Modern with slightly funky touches. The kitchen is completely open, allowing you a peek behind the scenes. There are a lot of communal tables, but we were lucky enough to be led to a private booth.

None of us wanted to share a hirata bun, so we each ordered one of our own:

The hirata bun is essentially a steamed bun wrapped around your choice of chicken or pork, lettuce, and Ippudo's own spicy sauce. We all went with the pork:

Spicy, yes, but so very delicious. The fattiness of the pork and the flavors infused in the meat were enough to make me forget the pain on my tongue.

My sister and I split two bowls of ramen. One was the akamaru modern:

The other was the shiromaru hakata classic:

I preferred the pork belly chashu of the akamaru modern over the pork loin chashu of the shiromaru hakata classic (pork belly is fattier), but I liked the soup base of the classic more than that of the modern. My sister liked the soup of the akamaru modern more, which worked out well for us.

The best part is the ramen noodles:

The soup can be a tad salty, but the noodles are perfectly Q (some Taiwanese slang for y'all). You can ask for extra servings of noodles for $2.

At $14 a bowl, I expected a lot and I can't say that I left disappointed. Definitely worth the wait, but hopefully I'll be able to figure out what constitutes an "odd time" before I go back again.

It was a long day, but we were all too busy geeking out over seeing Colbert in person to feel tired. If you're ever in New York, go watch a taping! He's hilarious both in and out of character. If you want to watch the episode we were at, look up the March 21st one featuring Steve Martin. Maybe you can catch a glimpse of us in the audience.

Ippudo NY
65 4th Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 388-0088


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