CCU Undercover: IPPUDO Sydney

Classy location. Check.

Classy interior. Check.

Happily screaming welcome from the staff. Check.

There was no doubt in CCU’s mind that she most certainly had made it to the right restaurant. After all, IPPUDO was known for its unique atmosphere 😉

But just how unique, CCU pondered, was the food?

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IPPUDO is located on the fifth level of the awesome Westfield shopping centre right in the heart of Sydney CBD. You meander through various cuisines all bunched up together, wondering where it could possibly be, before running into it a little to the side, away from the others.

And that is totally cool with everyone 🙂

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When my friend and I found the place, we actually couldn’t read the sign, because lo and behold, it was in Japanese, and being so observant, we naturally didn’t try and look around at the large sign which was just to our right near the bar! 😛

But no matter. After a stealthy, not-so-obvious lean to my left to glance at the menu, it confirmed we were at our destination: IPPUDO (although honestly, the fact that it was the only restaurant left on the level, along with the chopsticks, should have been a dead giveaway!)

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I have reviewed many a Japanese restaurant before, so I bet you are wondering, what makes IPPUDO different to them all? Well, this restaurant is actually centred around the wonderful world of ramen. That is its key dish, its glory dish, and the basis of the restaurant! 😀

IPPUDO‘s flavours actually come from the southern Japanese town of Hakata, where the ramen is made by simmering pork bones for many hours to extract the most flavour, and make the ramen creamier and richer, than just a soup!

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Anyways, so my friend and I, we were lead into the restaurant and BAM! The whole staff erupted into a Japanese flurry of welcomes, shouts and happy remarks (not that we understood any of it), as our server bellowed out ‘NEW CUSTOMER, NEW CUSTOMER!!’ – It was so cool! Although at the time, we were both more than a little embarrassed, before we realised everyone else got the same treatment 😉

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What I did find to be a little bit weird was that instead of being seated in front of each other, my friend and I were seated side by side. While I found it was much easier to harass her food for photographs :P, It felt like I was eating in a group of 4 people!

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As I have found in all the Japanese restaurants, our servers were lovely. The only word for it. And not only lovely, but very efficient.

We sat down, had our menus given, and after with a brief explanation of the specials, he whisked away to get us water, drinks, plates and of course, my cutlery due to my lack of chop-sticking skills (I am getting better eating sushi though!) 😛

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They also made sure to check our order twice, and repeatedly asked us if we wanted drinks, all the while diligently refilling our water often – it made us feel so pampered!

Our first dishes to come out were the A La Carte section of the menu. We ordered and maybe only 5-8 minutes later, the staff had already made our food, which was great because my friend and I were absolutely starving at this point. You know how you save your appetite for a big night? We may have gone too far 😛

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Ok, so my friend, JN, had ordered the IPPUDO Pork Bun (Steamed bun with braised pork and original IPPUDO sauce) – $4 per bun. When it came out, honestly, it looked like the bun had not even been cooked, and yet, it didn’t look like dough either.

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It was almost rubbery, but soft at the same time. A very unique bun if I have seen one! It was warm and fresh, but let me quote JN here, the bun with the filling was ‘mmmmmmmm’ 😛 – The marinated pork inside the bun was flavoursome and delicious, and I am pretty sure for JN, it was the favourite dish of the night!

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Even after we finished everything, she was still keen to make space for that pork bun!

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For me, I decided to go with a lighter, more refreshing option, namely, the Goma Q (Japanese cucumber in sesame sauce) – $7. I love cucumbers and I love sesames. So it was no surprise that this dish was the perfect way to start!

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The dressing on the cucumbers was awesome. Full of soy sauce, sesames and a hint of delicious spice, it really made you wanting more of this would-be salad 😛
It was a little tangy, and had a hint of earthiness, without being overly salty, which I was thankful for!

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At this point, the staff cleared our plates, brought out fresh ones and wiped away any minor spills, a small gesture that goes a long way when dining!

Next up from the menu (and where our stomachs really began their expansion), were two more dishes, but this time, far from being an entree-style, they could easily have been our main meals!

JN ordered the Waygu Steak w/ Sauce Japonaise (Waygu beef served on a teppan plate with sauce japonaise) – $18. All the steak was cut into juicy, bite-size pieces and sat on a bed of bean sprouts, and was steaming hot when it came out 🙂

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Now, JN is a self-confessed beef lover, meat-eater/devourer, so if she said the beef was tasty, you know it was! Not dry or tough at all, though overall, she preferred the braised pork from the bun. She also noted that despite the tasty flavour, the bean sprouts did lean a bit towards the watery side.

Me? I decided to go with the no-fail Yasai Tempura (Assorted vegetable tempura) – $11. It is actually my go-to dish at Japanese restaurants, there is just something so delicious about that batter! It gently falls of the vegetable, right into my mouth!

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Served with its customary, heated dipping sauce, there was a mix of asparagus (my favourite!), pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini and sweet potato. I can’t say I enjoyed the onion one very much due to how strong their flavour is, but I LOVED asparagus.

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Why do we not eat tempura-ed asparagus on a daily basis, I will never know 😉

After this mini feast, JN and I were a wee bit collapsing. From deliciousness, but collapsing none the less. Out stomachs were breaking past the jeans barrier!!! But 10 minutes later, came the last dish from the menu. Of course, it had to be the ramen. Specifically, JN ordered the Tori Shoyu Chashu (Tori shoyu ramen w/ original chicken chashu) – $20.

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It came out with a range of additional flavourings, including ginger and garlic and smelt amazing (yes, meat does smell amazing, I know that :P) In a large bowl, seaweed on the side, the ramen looked traditional and very hearty!

On their suggestion, JN ordered it with ‘hard’ noodles, which meant the noodles were still ‘bite-able’ when they came out of the ramen! Overall, despite not being able to eat it all, JN definitely saw why IPPUDO was famous for its ramen!

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As for me, since pork is the very heart and soul of the ramen in Japan, I ordered the cold Vegetarian Noodles ($13). These noodles came with a range of almost breakfast-like options, namely yoghurt with mandarin on the side, mixed nuts and cornflakes.

Yet it also came with a fresh green salad on the side of the cold noodles, as well as cherry tomatoes and cucumbers in a sesame sauce, with the whole dish topped with a hint of balsamic vinegar.

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Don’t ask me how, despite its… exotic… combination of flavours, somehow, it all seemed to come together. The dried fruits and nuts, with a touch of yoghurt to the side, went really well with the noodles which had been coated in the balsamic vinegar. I LOVED the sesame dressing on the greens, for me, that made the dish actually.

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Of course, I couldn’t finish it all either (but I ate all my greens for the first time in forever!) 😀

After snapping a few more photos, and having an awesome waiter chat to us about how next time, we will have the capacity for dessert too :P, we made our way back down to George St to enjoy a really nice, long walk to digest the food.

Of course this ended with us reaching an extreme gelato place… though more on that another day 😉

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General Information

  • Efficient service and friendly staff
  • Cleared plates and cutlery between courses
  • Refilled water continuously
  • Brought out a bag to the side of the table in which to easily place valuables
  • Architecture points!

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  • Top quality food
  • Don’t live in Sydney? All good! IPPUDO is international, also residing in NY, HK, Japan, Seoul, Singapore, Malaysia and planning to expand even more!

Rating: 8.5/10

Address: Westfield Sydney
Level 5 (Shop 5021)
188 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000

Phone Number: 8078 7020

Ippudo Sydney on Urbanspoon

Websites:

And if that is not enough, it gets even more exciting! 😀

New store address: IPPUDO SYDNEY Central Park (OMG!)
Level 1 RB07, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW2008

Opening Date
2nd store will be opened middle of September (are you as excited as I am?!) – Specifically this is 11th September, so make sure you book it in!

IPPUDO original video (a sneak previous I believe!)

Will I be back at IPPUDO? No doubt about it. Will it be soon? I hope so 😀
Till next post mes cheris!

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Disclaimer: Go Bake Yourself was invited to dine at IPPUDO restaurant, courtesy of SD Marketing, and was compensated monetarily for writing this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are honest and her own.

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36 Comments

  1. Dang girl, you eat like a Queen! Great review, you are assisting with a solid list of places for me to hit up when I am next in town. Perhaps you’d consider being my hostess with the mostess… 🙂

  2. Zoe says:

    Everything looks extremely good in this place. We will love to dine in this restaurant if we are in Sydney.

    Great recommendation!

  3. Louise says:

    I also enjoy your reviews Uru. It sounds like you and your friend had a wonderful dining experience. I’m delighted to know IPPUDO is also in NYC. We will be visiting the city in a few weeks. I must find out where it is and if we will be by it. Thanks so much for sharing, Uru…

  4. I feel Japanese restaurants are fun because the way things are done. It’s just different and always entertaining. =)
    I wish I could have joined you, I am a big fan of Japanese food and unfortunately there are not many Japanese restaurants where I live.

  5. The Vegan 8 says:

    That restaurant looks pretty cool…especially with all the red.. that is my favorite color! Those cucumber dish looks awesome and I love all the sesame seeds on top, I’m kind of addicted to them!

  6. Yum! I love each and every dish but I really have my eye on that perfectly placed cucumber salad with the sesame seeds on top. Great photo CCU! What camera are you using? Take Care, BAM

  7. Emma says:

    Love a bowl of ramen, especially in the winter time! However wouldn’t of thought fruit and nuts would go with noodles, sounds interesting!! Will have to try it there sometime 🙂

  8. I love ramen! And as I was reading through this I was wondering if they had a vegetarian option for it (I don’t think I’ve ever seen one, although I haven’t looked since I like the pork-laden kind). Guess not, but you certainly found loads of good stuff to eat. Fun review — thanks.

  9. Hotly Spiced says:

    I love that food court – there’s always an overwhelming choice. I actually like sitting up at a bar to eat as well as you get to see so much of what’s going on. Looks like you had a great night out xx

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