Ippudo Ramen

Price: $100 HKD (total)
Rating: 10/10 

Ippudo Ramen started out as a little 10 seater ramen joint in Fukouka, Japan in the 80's. I bet you asked Mr Ippudo in the 80's whether he thought his dinky ramen place would expand to a number of funky ramen restaurants in Hong Kong, New York, Singapore and Seoul, he'd probs tell you he'd never sell out like that. 

Well, he did. And Ippudo has caused quite a stir in Hong Kong with some going so far as to call it "THE BEST RAMEN IN HONG KONG!!!!!1!". Not sure I believe that, yet. Either way me and my Hong Kong honey were in Tsim Sha Tsui and desperately hungry at 5PM, meaning we could beat the dinner queues. Located on the side of the Silvercord Mall in Tsim Sha Tsui, Ippudo has some nice views of Haiphong Road down below. Whilst the staff were a little reluctant to give us a table by the window (usually they're meant for 4 people), a little whinging got us what we wanted.

The whole place is very funky, and has cool chillout music and low hanging dimmed lighting. It's so nice to go to a place in Hong Kong that actually plays music! 

I ordered the spicy pork-katsu ramen. Another nice touch is that the staff ask you how you want your noodles cooked: soft, medium or hard. Being the prudent Basillicatan-Italian that I am (who like their pasta al-dente), I ordered my noodles HARD BABY!

And they were perfect! Great elastic texture and they tasted nice and fresh. The soup base was extremely tasty, well salted and thick and oily enough to make a substantial meal in itself. It looked a lot spicier than it actually was, and was packed with generous slices of fatty pork and other small slivers of vegetables like chives and daikon. 

We also got a side of pork Gyoza dumplings served on a hot plate. These were okay, the pan fried side wasn't that crunchy. 

The whole meal cost $200, for 2 bowls of ramen and the gyoza. For tsim sha tsui, and a comfortable and relatively up-scale feeling restaurant I think that's fantastic. The ramen was probably the best i've had in HK so far, but I stand to be proven wrong when I go to Butao Ramen in Central next week.