The Ramen King
Given Shanghai has already well and truly succumbed to the global phenomenon that is Japanese ramen with more than a few noodle soup spots already up and running, it certainly takes something special to get the city’s culinary watchers sitting up and taking notice. Entering the battle of the broths a bowl above the rest, the world-renowned Ippudo arrived in Pudong’s IFC mall with 20 years experience and 60 international locations under its belt, not to mention a broth often hailed as the tastiest outside Japan. Helmed by restaurateur Shigemi ‘Ramen King’ Kawahara, Ippudo’s fitout is a modern interpretation of a traditional Japanese noodle bar, with counter seating, long pale wood tables and walls adorned with decorative red and black ramen bowls.
Specialising in its native Fukuokan pork-bone broth, Ippudo’s must-tries include the rich Akamaru with al dente noodles, miso and garlic oil, and the subtly-flavoured Shiromaru with ultra-thin noodles. Both bowls come topped with lean pork, soft boiled egg, roasted seaweed, black fungus, soybean sprouts and/or scallions, with sides like marinated cream cheese wrapped in daikon (radish), crispy nori (red seaweed) in soy-wasabi sauce, and tender eel hot pot with sticky rice. They don’t take reservations so be prepared to queue, but rest assured, this is one bowl worth waiting for.