Following a successful expansion into Sydney in 2013, the global ramen phenomenon that is IPPUDO has continued on its merry march with its first ever Melbourne branch now open in QV, and a Perth branch soon to follow.
In keeping with its counterparts, this IPPUDO melds the modern with traditional both in design and cuisine. Curved oak walls and exposed concrete create a bright, open space that seats 98, with extra tables out the front to help ease the almost constant queue out the door.
Food-wise, it's mostly about that ramen. "Ramen King" and founder Shigemi Kawahara has a slew of accolades and a huge global following – at last count there were 217 stores in 13 countries with many more, to be sure, in the offing.
While it's hard to go past IPPUDO's signature original creamy tonkotsu broth with pork, Shiromaru Motoaji, ($15), try the Akamaru Shinaji - miso paste and fragrant garlic oil adds extra punch ($16), while the less heralded starters are stars in themselves. Inventive Japanese delicacies such as Spicy Goma Q – lightly pickled cucumber, special chilli sauce, crunchy garlic and Sichaun pepper keep things fresh; while Ebi Guacamole – gyoza-wrapper tortilla chips dunked in wasabi prawn avocado dip – may just be your new favourite nachos with a twist. Just remember to leave room for the ramen.
Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm; Fri-Sat 11am-11pm.
18 Artemis Lane QV, Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 03 9654 9057, ippudo.com.au