Unfortunately, I have to make this brief because I’m working on a deadline that has been consuming ALL of my time!
The bottom line about Ippudo is…YES! Even with a two hour wait, I would (amazingly) still recommend this restaurant. Thank goodness my dining companions were good sports AND fantastic company. Upon hearing that the estimated wait time was about 1.5 hours, I would have been fine with going somewhere else. But, one of my dining companions dragged us around the corner to wait for our table at a nearby bar. Great call, J!
So here are things to note if you intend to dine at Ippudo. For both lunch and dinner, to avoid the long wait, come early or go late. For lunch, avoid the hours of 12-2 and for dinner, avoid the hours of 6:30-9, if possible. Seriously. I’m not even kidding about this. We checked in around 7:25 and weren’t seated until about 9:25 on a Wednesday night. And, they don’t take reservations. I know because I checked. When I asked about this, they explained that the wait would be longer if they took reservations. I don’t know if I agree with that. But then again, this isn’t my restaurant and they’re not exactly hurting for business.
The only complaint I have is that we were so hungry because of the long wait that we weren’t able to savor the appetizers. We cleaned all three appetizers off their plates within 30 seconds. Okay, maybe 60 seconds. 🙂 On the other hand, would we have eaten them so quickly if they weren’t also divinely good? Hmmm…
– Shiromaru Hakata Classic
– Akamaru Modern
– Karaka Men
– Special Ramen: Kuro Tan Tan Men
Honestly, I would recommend it all. Each of the soups had their own distinct broths. My recommendation for each person would be different depending on your taste. The Shiromaru Hakata Classic is exactly that, a very classic ramen flavor. The Akamuru Modern has a very rich flavor. If you like ginger, you will love the Karaka Men. That little ball on top is all ginger. It was so good! And last, but definitely not least, the special ramen: Kuro Tan Tan Men was spicy and rich. Again, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
When we sat down, we were all thinking, “This better be worth the two hour wait.” As we were walking out, we all agreed that it was worth it. In P’s words, “Was it worth a two hour wait? Oh, yes. Definitely. Just not every day…”