At the end of last year, FI and I headed out for date night at Ippudo, a delicious ramen restaurant in the East Village. This was one of the five that Chef Morimoto had rated and we wanted to try out all five of them. This was our 3rd one (after Momofuku and Rai Rai Ken).
There was a pretty long wait for a table, so we hung out at the bar. We got there right at 8pm at the end of happy hour. The bartender was nice and still gave us the happy hour priced beers. "You're my last two!" he told us.
The bar is decorated with packs of dried ramen!
The backdrop of the bar are decorative ramen bowls!
We decided on a fried chicken appetizer. There were 2 sauces, one sweet & sour and the other kind of spicy. I alternated the sauces and that was a good way to mix the flavors. The chicken was nice and crispy but super moist inside and not greasy at all. The lemon juice was a nice acidic touch to the chicken as well.
Then we split 2 kinds of ramen soup. One was the original flavor with a white broth. This noodle soup was delicious. It wasn't super salty but still really flavorful. The noodles were chewy yet soft. The weather was super cold so it was nice to eat a hot bowl of noodles. I tried to get a bite of pork, noodle, and soup in every spoonful.
The other kind of ramen we had was a more salty broth with the pork with a crispy skin. This was delicious as well.
Halfway through our bowls of soup, we switched so we could taste both ramens. We both ended up liking the original better. And as we've learned from other eating establishments (Beard Papa and Pinkberry), the original is always the best.