I'm a teacher, musician, blogger and uni student living in Sydney and always dreaming about living & experiencing a new corner of the world. Visit my blog at www.jessiejournals.wordpress.com.
Published May 24th 2016
Eat at an internationally acclaimed restaurant
Chatswood Interchange's Dining District is conveniently located just above the train station, and has really become a popular spot for people to grab a bite. It offers exotic food options from around the world including Japanese, fusion restaurants, Malaysian, Italian, dessert cafes and others.
I've recently made a goal that I was going to try every place here, so on a casual Wednesday night, I went to Ippudo after a long and tiring day. It was located right next to Tim Ho Wan, so it wasn't as popular, but my friend and I were really craving some ramen on that day, so there was no turning back.
When my friend explained to me that they had a separate menu for eat-in and takeaway, I was a little confused. After flicking through their eat-in menu and looking above the counter at their takeaway menu, we were both drawn in by the price difference and went with the takeaway option. We didn't really get the point of eating-in though, because in front of Ippudo was a bunch of tables and chairs for diners of the Dining District. In fact, the Dining District has ample chairs dispersed, so one can easily find somewhere to sit and eat at anytime of the day.
We ordered a 'pork bun' ($4)- "our famed international best-seller! Ippudo's signature melt-in-your-mouth chashu, accompanied with crisp iceberg lettuce and creamy mayo, nestled in a soft, fluffy bun." We were both surprised to see how little it was! You couldn't even split it in half! I found the bun part the yummiest, but what was supposed to be the hero of the dish- the chashu- was way too salty for my liking.
We also got some 'Tori Karaage' (3 pieces for $4)- "chicken pieces fried to golden brown perfection." While the mayo and the chicken karaage themselves were very yummy, we couldn't help but ponder over why it was all so expensive.
And because we weren't feeling very adventurous, we decided to have the same ramen. We both got 'Shiromaru Motoaji' ($12 each)- Ippudo's original creamy topkotsu broth served with thin & straight noodles, pork loin, bean sprouts, black fungus & spring onions. A classic Hakata-style ramen."
There was a substantial amount of all ingredients in this tiny bowl of ramen, but I'd personally prefer to have more meat (3 thin pieces of pork is not enough for a meal). For me, I think the broth and noodles were the standouts of the dish. The broth wasn't too thick and salty, and the noodles had the perfect texture with bags of flavour. I just wished I had more to eat! Normally for $12 I can get a huge bowl of ramen that I can't cup with two hands, this one was easily cupped....
haven't been to Ippudo - more expensive when I can get excellent ramen elsewhere for less - but promoting Chinese food as their main attraction ?
the bun with chashu - char siu - Cantonese barbecued pork - is also known as TIger Leaping Bun in Taiwan - I doubt it is of Japanese origin - so for Ippudo to be promoting a Tawanese dish using Cantonese barbecued pork - hmmm - is not a reason for me to go to this 'Japanese' restaurant - sorry.