Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Ippudo 一風堂 - London Central St Giles Piazza

Just opposite Kanada-ya is another ramen bar called Ippudo which has become popular around the world and had officially opened on Friday 10th October. I went the next day just before it closed for lunch, and thankfully I managed to get a seat as it proved to be quite popular on its second day. Kanada-ya was unfortunately looking bleak at that moment, but I believe that no other place can beat their broth!

Mr Stingy says it's an insult for both Ippudo and Kanada-ya to be so close to each other! Whatever that's supposed to mean! ¬,¬" There's just TOO much ramen competition and then you see the unpopular places closing down in London. So sad! :(

Ippudo opened its doors in 1985 in Fukuoka City, note: same place as Kanada-ya. Many branches have opened around Japan as well as around Asia and one in the US. This one happens to be the first to open in Europe. London has become the fashionista for food lately. Everything opens up in London first! Ippudo 一風堂 literally means  in Chinese "one-wind-hall" but don't know what it means in Japanese terms...
Ippudo London

Street view

Ippudo London sign hidden behind a pole
On arrival, there was already a small queue but it seemed like a lot of people were being turned away as there was no seating available. The bar was open but they don't serve people at the bar. Unfortunate... I think they would be able to serve food at the bar...
Well luckily I was able to get a seat as I was by myself but still needed to wait!
Lots of kitchen staff!

Lots of bowls and spoons

Chopsticks (they are very pretty!) and napkin
Each customer is welcomed into the restaurant in a cheerful manner but this distracts the other customers from eating (and basically I avoided listening each time so that I didn't have to look up - I've had loads of practice from work).

I had a very quick look at the menu but already knew what I wanted from looking at the menu online (as usual).

I had the gyoza. It came out nice and hot but it looked really oily. The dipping sauce was good though! Sake and soy sauce mix.
Chicken and vegetable gyoza

Nice fleshy inside
Next came my Shiromaru Hakata Classic (shiromaru means white circle. Hakata is the place in Japan). It looked nice but bland looking in comparison to my ramen bowl I had for the same price at Kanada-ya. (Really trying not to be bias!! XD). One piece of chasu, spring onions, bean sprouts that had sank to the bottom and a small amount of fungus... and my egg didn't look good. I wished they had cut it length ways as it was quite difficult to eat it. :( Eeeeeeeeeeh. Did I come too late for all the best cooking? The broth was creamy and salty like a proper tonkotsu but not that creamy and I didn't finish it... I could taste a slight fishiness in it too which didn't suit my appetite. There was no nori either... :( A friend of mine from Malaysia said to me that quality always changes at Ippudo Malaysia... hmmm. 
Shiromaru Hakata Classic with an extra soft egg

Close up

Handmade noodles

Nearly finished it!
Total cost came to £18.56 including service charge (and I didn't even order a drink since they offered water).... Didn't leave a tip. :( I'm a bad geek I know. 
Bill time
I've become a food snob. ←~(o `▽´ )oΨ

My geeky rating: 4/5

Good points:
- Creamy broth but could taste some fishiness
- Big spacey area, and I think there is an upstairs
- Ultra friendly staff
- There is a vegetarian ramen option!

Bad points: 
- Just a bit too lively!!! Please tone it down a tiny bit!!
- Not cheap
- Was disappointed with the food...

Address: 3 Central Saint Giles Piazza, St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8AG
Telephone: 020 7240 4469


2 comments:

  1. I thought it was weird how all the wait staff were continental European. It was bizarre.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lol!! We're in Europe! ¯\_༼ᴼل͜ᴼ༽_/¯

      Delete

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