Few days ago, I finally managed to visit the newly-opened Ippudo Indonesia in Pacific Place. Ippudo is one of the biggest ramen restaurant chains from Japan and up to date, it has been spreading its wings in the world including China, Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, New York, Malaysia, Thailand, and now, Indonesia. The first outlet in Indonesia was opened for public since September 23rd but it has been stealing public attention since then. Be aware that you will definitely need to wait to be able to enjoy Ippudo taste here!

Ippudo was first started in Fukuoka in 1985 by Shigemi Kawahara, often dubbed the Ramen King. “Ippudo” in direct translation means “one wind hall”, and this is named because at that time, there were dark clouds over the Kyushu ramen industry, and he intended to “blow wind and revolutionize the era”. As a founder of Ippudo, he is a charismatic entertainer in the kitchen. He sees the restaurant as a stage where each employee plays a role like an actor. From cooking to serving, every move is choreographed to perfect timing, even down to the moment when the staff bids a customer goodbye. 
This first Indonesian outlet is not big, and it has weird interior design, like a typical Japanese restaurant in Jakarta with wooden tables etc but with chandelier lights, probably mixed with Indonesian shareholders’ taste? XD There are big round tables (again, weird!) and also counter seats which are very comfortable. Also another area which is a bit secluded complete with partition, but overall the place is simple and inviting.

I went with Mr. K and my brother on October 1st, a day after the Grand Opening, and arriving around 11.30AM to find that people had already been queuing and we were put in waiting list number 24, geez! Let me share with you one of my weaknesses: I usually avoid all kind of things that require waiting, especially dining in, especially inside a mall. I mean, we have so many choices, unless I really crave for something in any particular restaurant or that place is so darn good, I don’t see any reason why I have to be put on waiting list just to eat there. But this time, yes, I was curious so much that I didn’t even mind waiting to get a table!
It was already number 18 when I got mine so it didn’t take so long. Luckily, since we were just 3 person, we were seated at the counter.

The main offer from Ippudo is surely ramen (duh!) and interestingly there are many other stuffs we can enjoy beside ramen. Unlike any other ramen restaurants that serve only gyoza, here we can find cold and hot appetizers including the buns, variety of salads and many others. Price is relatively higher than many other ramen restaurants in Jakarta, so let’s dig in!

Iced Green Tea IDR 15K
We always opt for green tea (hot or cold depends on mood) to accompany our Japanese meal.

Pork Buns IDR 28K
Ippudo’s Buns are acclaimed to be one of all-time favorite hot appetizers and come in three filling options: pork, shrimp, and chicken. These buns are special because they are served with Ippudo’s original sauce that is perfectly suitable to enhance the meat taste and goes really well with the buns. I chose pork one because I simply love pork, and heard so many good reviews about it for years. It was indeed very delicious, with a super soft and smooth pork meat, perfectly seasoned, and the buns were the softest, smoothest buns I have ever had. Usually buns like this give me unpleasant sticky feeling afterwards, but this one wasn’t sticky at all. I can probably finish 20 of this by myself! *gasp*

Spicy Mayo Shrimp IDR 42K
This menu comes in a very beautiful presentation, complete with tapas spoon and shrimp heads. This is probably not a new thing but the presentation made it worth ordering in my opinion. The shrimps were fresh and crunchy, the spicy mayo was put on the bottom of each shrimp. I chose to use chopstick to take the shrimp and dip it into the sauce, but you might as well eat everything altogether using the spoon.

Oroshi Ponzu Gyoza IDR 39K
As for the gyoza, there are also many options and I chose this one because it uses ponzu sauce. This Ippudo’s original homemade pan-fried dumplings are topped with grated radish and spring onions, then served with ponzu (citrus-based) sauce. From the appearance, it looked very appetizing already with the toppings including the beautiful, green spring onions. As expected, the gyoza was a bit crispy on the outside and soft inside, and there was a colorful flavors when I put one piece immediately into the mouth. The juiciness and the burst of flavors gave a different sensation compared to regular gyoza and I loved it.

Now let’s move on to their specialty: RAMEN!
Basically what makes Ippudo very popular is because their noodles are considered the “work of a craftsman”, offering both springy texture and deep flavors. There noodles are very essential, boiled to al dente, exuding the vibrant natural aroma and taste of wheat with each bite. Together with it, the soup is made following Ippudo’s secret recipe, using only rigorously selected ingredients which go through innovative processes of creating the Tonkotsu broth.

There are 3 main categories of Ippudo Ramen which you can choose:

  1. Shiromaru Motoaji a.k.a. Classic Ippudo Ramen is Ippudo’s original tonkotsu broth served with thin noodles, bara chashu (pork belly), cabbage, kikurage (black fungus) and spring onions. 
  2. Akamaru Shin-aji a.k.a. Modern Ramen is Ippudo’s original tonkotsu broth enhanced with umami-dama (special-blended miso paste) and fragrant garlic oil. Served with thin and straight noodles, pork belly, black fungus and spring onions.
  3. Karaka-Men a.k.a. Spicy Tonkotsu is Ippudo’s original tonkotsu broth with curly noodles, special spicy miso, ground pork, cabbage, garlic oil, cashew nuts and spring onions.

Besides those selections, we can also select the hardness of our noodles based on what we like:
Soft / Medium / Hard / Very Hard

Shiromaru Special IDR 90K
Shiromaru with flavoured egg, tender pork cube and bamboo shoots. After choosing Classic, Modern or Spicy ramen, we can also choose the toppings we want, and this time, we selected all Special ones which are the most complete. I had high expectation and I was a little disappointed when I looked at the soup. Rather than looking like a regular authentic Japanese ramen with thick broth, this was definitely runny and much thinner than I expected from an Ippudo ramen soup. It was indeed runny and light, although the taste was delicious. The noodle was normal hardness and it was good. The pork chashu was nice although I prefer ones with more meat than fat! XD

Akamaru Special IDR 95K
Akamaru with flavoured egg, tender pork cube and bamboo shoots. This one was mine and I was glad I didn’t order the classic one. Again, the soup was too thin for my liking but it was much tastier than Shiromaru, as it uses miso paste and garlic oil.

Karaka Special IDR 99K
Karaka-men with flavoured egg, tender pork cube and bamboo shoots. This spicy ramen uses curly noodles with bigger diameter, so I think it was the most enjoyable amongst the three. The extra spiciness also gave stronger taste and it could compensate the thin soup somehow. If I go to Ippudo Indonesia again, this is definitely my order next time!

Seriously I didn’t really know what to comment about the ramen but they are just.. different. Japanese ramen is nice because their soup/broth is thick and kicking! The problem with Japanese ramen in Indonesia is that they are modified to satisfy local taste and for me, that’s a major turn off. We all were pretty disappointed because like Mr. K said, Hakata ramen should have thick broth and that’s why the broth is considered the “life” of Hakata ramen, LOL!

Panna Cotta IDR 22K
Despite of the long queue outside, we managed to order some desserts to complete our lunch that day. This panna cotta stole my attention just as immediately as I saw that on the menu. It was actually Japanese version of panna cotta, with tofu’s soft and easily broken textures that tasted like.. tofu. It was refreshing and somehow very Japanese, but not exactly something that I will reorder. But I guess it comes back to self preference for something like this.

Black Sesame Ice Cream IDR 25K
For the ice cream bowl, they serve Red Bean, Green Tea and this Black Sesame. I love three of them but because the later one is the most rare to find in restaurants, I chose it. Served with sweetened red beans and crispy wafers, this dessert bowl was satisfying and brought my smile back! At least I wasn’t totally disappointed with my overly-high expectations about their ramen!

Well, not exactly what I imagined from the infamous Ippudo, but I had great time despite having to wait for a while to get seated. The people/staffs are awesome, they are fast and efficient, and still maintain their politeness to the guests. The atmosphere and energy are very positive, and everything is awesome except the thickness of the broth. Sadly to say, that’s the main star of a Hakata ramen restaurant and I doubt this will be included in my recommended ramen list in Jakarta, but again, everyone is different so maybe you should just give it a try.

Oh yes, from now on, I will try to include photos of the receipts, actually to show total amount for how many people I am dining with. This time, the receipt is for 3 person.

*All prices are subject to 7% service charge & 10% government tax
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
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Pacific Place 5th Floor Unit 5-37
Kawasan Niaga Terpadu Sudirman (SCBD)
Jl. Jenderal Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Jakarta 12190
Phone. +62 21 5797 3339
Opening Hours:
Mon-Sun 11.00 – 22.00

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