Kyushu Ramen-athon: Ippudo

Homaigawd ramen chains in Japan are abso-frickin’-delicious..and convenient as they open till wee wee hours of the morning! Two of the most popular chains – Ippudo and Ichiran – started off in Fukuoka. And since the sis and I were in Fukuoka…must/ want/ should pay homage to these godfathers of tonkotsu ramen in their homeland!

We actually stumbled across an Ippudo restaurant along nishi-dori in the Tenjin area in Fukuoka. There on the front door was a big poster advertising this month’s special: tonkotsu ramen ala pork-chicken broth! HOLY MOLEY…WANT! After numerous bowls of sinfully fatty tonkotsu ramen across Fukuoka, my arteries were crying for a respite…but the tummy said stuff it and eat on. So Ippudo’s pork-chicken broth ramen which was much lighter and cloying than the usual pork-on-pork tonkotsu ramen was an awesome compromise!

Condiments

The wide array of condiments at every table – Kimchi bean sprouts and root vegetables, tangy pickled red ginger, sweet pickled kelp-like thing with sesame seeds, and whole slices of garlic! There’s actually a garlic crusher (accidentally cropped from pic whoops) which you can pop garlic slices into and out comes fresh minced garlic to stir into your ramen. Way cool, #onlyinJapan!

Ramen

It’s here! It was lust at first whiff and sight. Tender slices of succulent char-siu, crunchy cabbage slices, tender chicken meatballs seasoned with the most delectable hint of yuzu, crunchy tempura-like bits for that pop with each bite..all swimming in a deliciously light chicken-pork broth. The broth might be less heavy and rich than a full-on porky tonkotsu broth, but what it lacked in heaviness it more than made up for with wholesome, light flavours. And when you also have burst of yuzu from each mouthful of the chicken ball, mixed with crackling tempura bits…oh babyyyy heaven is a place on Earth!

Up close

Up close of each delectable morsel..if only you were a neverending refillable bowl of ramen *wistful*

Eating

TOTALLY ECSTATIC THEY USE FAT RAMEN NOODLES!!! Hakata style ramen favours long and skinny (why why why), but I’m a die-hard lover of the long and chubby (noodles), so thank you sweet ramen lord for listening.

Done!

Done and slurped almost every single drop of deliciousness!

Pork-chick tonkotsu ramen, you gonna be my #1 choice when I pay my respects next at Ippudo. I really (*10000000) hope that they have this in Tokyo too. Forever and ever. And ever ever.

–Sulsuls

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