Ippudo 博多一風堂 – The Tokyo Ramen Experience Is Really Quite Different


[Tokyo, Japan] First ramen shop that I rushed to when I went back Tokyo? Ippudo 博多一風堂.

The choice was quite obvious because I have always been a fan of Hakata style ramen – the thin, non-curly straight paler yellow noodles, basked in rich milky tonkotsu pork bone broth.

An Ippudo ramen in Tokyo cost about 750 Japanese Yen, who works out to be $9.10. Having that in Singapore’s Mandarin Gallery would set you back double or more than price, and yet not as good.

Compared to the Singapore branches which have an upscale sleek New Yorkish interior and presentation, the branch I visited at Ebisu Tokyo is a return to the conventional old-fashioned ramen shop with a sit-down counter of rustic wooden finishing, attracting families and the occasional solo businessman. Ah yes, they have an English menu.

Ippudo 博多一風堂 was so named because the founder Shigemi Kawahara wanted to “blow wind” over the “dark clouds of the Kyushu ramen industry”, eventually reinventing the traditional style of Hakata ramen in 1985. He eventually won the “TV Champion Ramen Chef” 3 times consecutively between 1995 and 98.

With over 65 stores in Japan, Ippudo has successfully put itself on the world map gaining popularity in major cities of New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Shanghai.

As a fan, I personally think its 3 factors of the winning formula is in thin yet firm straight noodles, retaining the bite even if it is soaked in the broth for some time; the creamy yet not too heavy and oily pork broth, and its very clean and minimalist presentation.

If you like the most basic flavour, get the ‘white’ Shiromaru Classic (750 Yen) or Special (1050 Yen) which comes with chashu, bean sprouts, scallions, tamago egg, tree mushrooms and wanton. My personal preference is the ‘red’ Akamaru (800 Yen or 1100 Yen for special) which has a more intense and memorable soup base.

The Hakata Gyoza (210 Yen) makes an excellent accompaniment, about a third smaller in size than the usual dumplings, still crispy and very juicy and moist on the inside, best eaten hot (in cool autumn Ebisu Tokyo.)

I have tried a few Japanese ramen in Tokyo. The truth is Ippudo did not blow me away, comparatively.

I should add that while the version at Tokyo is definitely better than Singapore’s, the taste is not too far off (compared to other brands where the Tokyo branches are loads and loads better it’s like two completely different tastes). It shows that Ippudo tries its best to maintain consistency no matter where they go.

Ippudo 博多一風堂 Ebisu
1-3-12 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku, ハイネス恵比寿 Tokyo, Japan (along Meiji-dori towards Hiroo, past the post office)
Google Maps
Tel: +81 3-5420-2225
Opening Hours: 11:00am-3:00am (Mon-Thurs), 11:00am-4:00am (Fri-Sat), 11:00am-2:00am (Sun)

Other Related Entries
Ichiran Ramen 一蘭 (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Ramen Santouka 山頭火 (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Menya Musashi 麺屋武蔵 (Shinjuku, Tokyo)
Mutekiya Ramen 無敵家 (Ikebukuro, Tokyo)
Rokurinsha 六厘舎 (Oshiage, Tokyo)

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8 Responses to “Ippudo 博多一風堂 – The Tokyo Ramen Experience Is Really Quite Different”

  1. January 24, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    Totally adore their ramen. Wish I could try the one in Japan too ..

  2. worldtraveler17
    April 25, 2014 at 1:01 am #

    Their ramen is pretty good. The broth is super tasty.
    If you are interested, check out some more recommended ramen places here:

    • admin
      April 25, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. worldtraveler17
    April 25, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

    No problem! :)

  4. CH
    May 2, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

    Ooo… will try it when I go to Tokyo. I tried their original branch when I went to New York last year (West 51st St). At first I had my doubts after a friend recommended it because the one at Mandarin Gallery left a little to be desired. I was pleasantly surprised by the broth which was amazing. Too bad I had no space to try other food. It’s a tad more expensive than the one in Japan because of the tips, but I didn’t mind because the service was so good!

  5. linn
    January 15, 2016 at 1:09 pm #

    Based on your meal experience, does the restaurant add MSG to their soup base? Been hearing all or most Jap soupy food has MSG. Not sure about the more established ones like Ippudo.

    • admin
      January 16, 2016 at 10:49 am #

      Ippudo? I don’t think so. My take is miso may give some people the impression that the base contains msg.


  1. Ichiran Ramen 一蘭 - Indeed, One Of Japan's Best Tonkotsu Ramen - DanielFoodDiary.com - January 1, 2015

    […] The shop was founded in Hakata Fukuoka way back in the 1960s. Hakata ramen is characterised by its thin, long, firm noodles, usually whiter in colour. Also my favourite type. Think Ippudo Ramen. […]

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