Saturday, September 24, 2016

Japan: Hakata Ippudo in Fukuoka

Our Japan espionage concluded with a 2 day stopover in Fukuoka prior to departing to Hong Kong. Home to hakata ramen, a ramen dish that utilizes thin ramen in a rich, creamy pork broth. Most of us may have already tried hakata ramen in our own countries without realizing it.

I had my eyes set on trying at least an original version whilst in Fukuoka and after a few random turns in the city area, we stumbled upon Ippudo ramen! Having had a good experiences both in Sydney and in Kuala Lumpur, we were eager to pay homage to its originators.

Mentaiko is a spicy type of fish roe that is used a topping for rice dishes or as a seasoning due to its saltiness. I am not a fan of fishy types of food and so, allowed the sister to gorge at it all by herself. Worth a try if you are in the region as it is a Fukuoka specialty and if you really do love it, why not grab it as a take home souvenir?

Shiromaru classic - after brewing in the pot for a good 18 hours, the pork broth is left to mature for an additional 24 hours to extract all the porky goodness from the bones. Creamy and rich, this would be the literal translation of pigs having a bubble bath. Noodles were thin and cooked al dante whilst chashu was soft and tender.

Gyoza - a lesser known specialty and one that surprised me. I loved how crisp the side of the gyoza that touches the pan is and am amazed that the meat filling in it is not dry at all. Simplicity done well and easily polished off by yours truly and co.

Akamura modern - blended with miso paste, this tonkatsu broth was not as creamy and the previous one but it is slightly oilier, in a good way. Noodles used here were of medium thickness, giving diners that extra bite-y texture. Two thumbs up from me.

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