Review of 'Ippudo London'

The first European outpost of this Japan chain Ippudo London is a fashionable and tasty ramen restaurant centrally located near many tourist sites. The small interior is playfully decorated - Dried ramen noodles under glass form the surface of the bar - Noodle bowls and spoons decorate the walls. It was quite busy when I visited on a Saturday evening so was quite noisy. Being alone I was placed on a stool looking into the busy kitchen. The menu is delightfully simple (though, perhaps deceptively so with the few toppings that are also available). It is interesting that they offer sushi and other Japanese staples but you really come here for the ramen and their heavenly “tonkatsu” broth.

I started with a Hirata Pork Bun (£3) which was incredible with it's amazing spiced mayonnaise and two generous portions of fatty pork. Delicious. For my main I decided on the “Summer Special”, “Hakata Tsukamen” (£11) which consisted of a small bowl of (amazing) “tonkatsu” pork broth served alongside a square box containing cold noodles (they said these were slightly thicker than normal ramen noodles), several slices of pork and some pickle - The idea being that you dip the ingredients into the broth before eating. Wow. Very tasty. The noodles were perfectly al denté and the pork delicious. If I had to find any fault it would be that the broth was slightly too salty for my taste particularly when having it on it's own at the end having exhausted all of the dipping ingredients.

I was going to skip dessert until I heard about the “Kurogoma Panna Cotta” (£5.80) which features one of my favourites: Black sesame. It is a black sesame panna cotta served with mango sorbet, several strips of crispy dried ramen noodles, and a light plate dressing of more black sesame sauce. Very good - I don't particularly like sweet. I would only say the sorbet was slightly out of place and I would have been happy with out (though it was quite tasty).

The service was quick and friendly. They seemed honestly interested in whether I liked the food or not so I obliged. The bill had a service charge already added and came to a total of £26.21 (which included a slightly expensive small pot of tea for £3.50).

Fancy a fancy and delicious bowl of ramen? Can't go wrong here. True, not exactly cheap but worth every penny.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2015-08-01

Cuisine: Japanese (Noodle Bar)

Address: 3 Central Saint Giles Piazza, Saint Giles High Street, London WC2H 8AG

Public Transport: TUBE Tottenham Court Road

Location: London (England) - Soho



Show in Google Maps  Get Directions

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7240 4469