(New): Ippudo Ramen Invades Indonesia!

October 14, 2014 Ellyna Tjohnardi
Yes, I queued 45 minutes to get a table at this newly opened ramen restaurant in one of Jakarta's high end shopping malls. So, you must be wondering if it was worth the wait? Well, I'll say it kind of depends...on many things.

Ippudo Ramen in Indonesia
It took me a solid 45 minutes to reach the head of the queue!
After seeing the photos from my foodie friends who have eaten at Ippudo within its first few days of opening, I was so tempted and couldn't help but to crave for this bowl of milky broth noodles soup. Alas, I dragged my family on a Saturday to Pacific Place, arrived around slightly after 6 PM, only to be greeted by this human caterpillar queuing outside Ippudo Indonesia's first outlet in the country. I was slightly annoyed, but neatly took my place at the end of the line and registered my name to the attentive staff. When I arrived, the first batch of diners had just settled themselves inside the restaurant, which was open during lunch (11AM - 3PM) and dinner hours (6 - 9PM).

Ippudo Ramen's history dated back to the 1985s and so far has opened successful branches outside Japan, such as Singapore, Malaysia, New York, Sydney. Quite surprisingly, according to my friends who had been to Japan, Ippudo's reputation is not as popular back home than overseas. Nonetheless, I know that in Singapore's Ippudo at Mandarin Gallery, Orchard Road, the place always saw a long queue outside and so I never had the chance to try it the last few times I went there. So, naturally when it finally opens in Jakarta, I simply had to try it, no more excuses.

More than 10 customers (mostly Japanese couples or families) and 45 minutes later, finally our turn came and we were seated in one of the private spaces (lucky!). During the opening period, the buchos (managers and perhaps the owner themselves) helped to control the floor and assist with the customers' orders. One Japanese (who looks like a mix caucasian Japanese) gentleman, who seemed to be someone in charge particularly stole my attention (because he's cute) =P just kidding, I wished I had the courage to tell him in person haha!

Ippudo Ramen opens in Indonesia
Ippudo Ramen opens in Indonesia


But anyway, let's get down straight to the business, on my friends' recommendation, I tried the Ippudo Pork Bun, plain steamed bun, and inside is a slice of seasoned pork belly. It didn't leave much impression when I ate it there, but when I ate it again at home, it tasted quite good indeed.
Ippudo Pork Bun, plain steamed bun, and inside is a slice of seasoned pork belly
Left: Ramen condiments & sauces (pepper, chili oil, sesame & shoyu)
Right: Ippudo Pork Bun IDR 28,000

Saikoro Steak - grilled rib eye steak cubes on a hot plate, served with asparagus, broccoli and drizzled with teppan sauce. The steak was quite chewy and quite a mouthful to swallow.
Saikoro Steak - grilled rib eye steak cubes on a hot plate, served with asparagus, broccoli and drizzled with teppan sauce
Saikoro Steak IDR 85,000


Seared Salmon Roll with Mentaiko - lightly seared fresh salmon, with mentaiko and ikura. This is possibly the highlight of my entire meal! From the looks of it, already seem luscious and tempting right? Wait until you pop it in your mouth! The salmon melts in the mouth and the rich tasting mayo doubles the happiness! Even my baby niece loves it!

Ippudo Indonesia
"Whoaaaaaaa!"
Seared Salmon Roll with Mentaiko - lightly seared fresh salmon, with mentaiko and ikura
Seared Salmon Roll with Mentaiko IDR 78,000

At Ippudo, there are 3 types of ramens, each come in classic, +Tamago, + Chashu or Special (everything in) versions:
- Shiromaru Motoaji (original tonkotsu broth, classic Hakata-style ramen)
- Akamaru Shinaji (tonkotsu broth with special miso paste & garlic oil, tastes richer than Shiromaru) 
- Karaka-men (tonkotsu broth with spicy miso and cashew nuts)
And the hardness of the original thin noodles can be selected to be either Soft / Normal / Hard / Very Hard.

Since I'm a fan of rich tonkotsu ramen broths and chili will numb my taste buds in tasting the broth, I ordered the Akamaru Special Ramen with Normal hardness of thin noodles, which means mine comes served with a salted soft-boiled egg, pork belly & seaweed. Firstly, I sipped the broth to savour the taste, it was rich indeed, not too salty and definitely not over seasoned. I feel like there's something is still missing though, not that the broth tasted bad. I still enjoyed my ramen and finished the bowl until the last drop of broth. There were 4 slices of chasu with moderate thickness, ad the portion was just about more than enough for my tummy.
Akamaru Special Ramen
Akamaru Special Ramen IDR 95,000
Akamaru Special Ramen
Salted soft-boiled egg and chashu in the ramen

Never end any meal without dessert, so we ordered the Chocolate Ice Cream. If I still had room in my tummy, I would've loved to try the panna cotta or the black sesame ice cream.
Chocolate Ice Cream
Chocolate Ice Cream IDR 20,000
Strawberry Cruzz
Strawberry Cruzz IDR 30,000

As a ramen lover, I am fond of sampling various types of ramen served at different places, so I can know the differences and actually tell what's good and what's not. Well, at least I didn't feel like my effort was wasted coming here. I still left the place well satisfied and with a happy belly, although to some, the ramen may not be up to their 'standard' (then again, everyone has different standards & preferences).

Starting 1 October 2014, Ippudo will open continuously like a normal mall operation hours. So to avoid the long queue, it would be wise to come during odd hours, like 4PM?

*) Prices are subject to 7% Service Charge & 10% Tax

Ippudo Indonesia
Pacific Place Level 5 Unit #37
JL. Jend. Sudirman Kav. 52-53
Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD) - South Jakarta

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