Ahhhh..Ramen Noodles. Ramen Noodle joints have been popping up all over the East Village these last few years, my favorite for some time now has been Momofuku Noodle Bar. One of the most popular ones in all of NYC (and in the East Village) is Ippudo. So popular, we are talking a 2-hour wait for a two-top on a Friday night.
I have been to Ippudo a bunch of times and have always been satisfied and happy with my ramen. This past Friday I went specifically to try their Akamaru Modern ramen, the dish I have read most about and that has gotten the most press.
I started with an appetizer of Hirata Chicken Wings ($7), three fried chicken wings with Ippudo special black pepper sauce. These wings were fantastic! I loved the flavor of the sauce, and the wings were the perfect texture. Honestly, some of the best wings I have had, and will go back for some more real soon!
And then the Akamaru Modern ($14) came. 'The original tonkotsu' soup noodle with Ippudo's special sauce, miso paste and fragrant garlic oil; pork chashu, 1/2 seasoned boiled egg, beansprouts, kikurage & scallions This bowl of soup was a life changer folks. After one spoonful of the broth, the first word that came to my mind was "Phenomenal". There was something soothing and sweet and ethereal about it. I had not experienced this feeling in a bowl of ramen before. I did crave a tad more kick to the soup though, and when I asked for some hot sauce, shockingly, the waitress told me they charge $2 extra for their homemade hot sauce. I think that is ridiculous and unacceptable, and never heard of that practice, (it's not about the money, it's the principle). Lucky for me, I was able to save 200 pennies, because two gals sitting at my round communal table offered me some of their sauce! (Another thing to note was when the waiter took my order, he totally tried to "up sell" me and get me to order extra pork, and when I said "No Thanks," his jaw dropped and he made a screeching sound in shock! )