When we arrived in Fukuoka we didn't know where to eat. So Reid rang his friend and asked for suggestions of where was the best place to eat in the Tenjin area and she recommended that we go to Ippudo. Ippudo is located in Tenjin near KFC and Mont Blanc :p right across from the Iwataya department store. Just ask around when in Tenjin. Everyone knows where it is.
Ippudo in Tenjin, FukuokaIt's a small place with one counter seating area and about maybe 4-5 rows of long tables and benches. The place gets really busy during peak times so be prepared to wait in line for a table and to share tables with other people. But trust me, it's worth it!! Ippudo is the best ramen place I've ever been to so far! The ramen here is to die for! I'm already drooling and dreaming of the day that I'll get to have a bite of their exquisite ramen. There aren't any branches here in Okinawa *cries*. However there are branches throughout Japan like Tokyo and Osaka.
Once seated this is the set-up you will see at your tableOn the far left you can see a container with goma (sesame seeds) in it and you can use it to grind the goma. I love it in my ramen. Then you have your sauces. Towards the left are two jars. One is filled with pickled veggies and the other with bean sprouts marinated with spicy hot oil and sesame. It is soooooo good!! I can practically eat the whole jar :p
Deb Deb trying to decide which ramen to order
There are only 3 types of ramen to choose from.
Tonkotsu base ramen is what Fukuoka is known for. Apart from that they have their own type of ramen noodles. I like these noodles better. They are much thinner than the other ramen noodles that I'm used to. Oiishi!!! =^_^=
Reid ordered the Ippudo Karaka-men
The next one is the third choice of ramen - The Akamaru Modern
You see the red/brown little ball in the middle of the ramen bowl? Well Reid thought it was umeboshi (pickled plum) and told me not to get it because I don't like it. And as you can see from this menu it is rather ambiguous and does not mention if it is umeboshi or not :p Oh and I later (back in Okinawa) learned that that little red sticker meant that this dish was the most popular one. I did observe people ordering more red ramen bowls :p
Aaaah...it was sooooooo delicious the ramen!!! As Reid always says, "It was scrumptious!!" Anyways, we loved the ramen soooo much that we decided to come back the next day for dinner again!!! LOL Yeap, it was THAT good!! Hey after all Ippudo is owned by the King of Ramen himself - Shigemi Kawahara and Fukuoka was the birthplace of Ippudo ^_~
We also ordered gyoza!! YUMMMMM I LOVE the Hakata gyozas though because the size is perfect!! Bite-size!! So it's really easy to eat
The story behind the Hakata bite-size dumplings
So we ordered this Mentaiko Rice. Mentaiko is the red stuff in the middle
Reid and I didn't like it though. It was salty and tasted 'fishy' to me :p Hey at least I tried it! :p
Oh and ONLY after we made all our orders I found a detailed English menu that describes and explains in detail the story behind each and every dish sold at Ippudo...
Well you remember Reid thinking that the red ball in the middle of the ramen ball being umeboshi? Well it wasn't!! Fail!! Epic Fail!!! LOL It is actually umami-dama ("flavor savor ball") after reading the detailed info. But I already ordered my ramen!! Now that I knew it wasn't what I thought it was, I was DETERMINED to try it!!
And yes you guessed it, we went to Ippudo AGAIN!!!
Oh and this was the "umeboshi" hahaha - Umami-dama ('flavor savor ball')
Reid and I are nuts about this place. we ended up going to Ippudo a total of 3 times during our short 4 day trip to Fukuoka. It was just THAT good! Oh and I also bought take home souvenir packs of those ramen noodles. They come in a small box with the uncooked ramen noodles and packets of soup mix. It still tasted AWESOME!! Of course not as good as when you eat it there though. Plus the take home pack is a little complicated to make @_@ I gave some of the take home packs to Akane as well and she loved it too and wanted to visit a Ippudo branch when she went on a trip to Tokyo!
If you LOVE ramen, I definitely recommend you to try Ippudo if you ever get the opportunity to. Oh and good news for those living in the United States. There is an Ippudo branch there. Yeap you heard me right. It's the first international branch that they have so you don't have to fly all the way to Japan just to try it *wink* - you'll just have to fly to NEW YORK! :p that is if you aren't from there hehe.
I don't know if the New York branch is as good as the ones in Japan though. But hey if you get the opportunity to try it or if you have already tried the one there, let me know about it! ^_^
A big warning though:
Once you've tried the Ippudo ramen
No other ramen will taste as good anymore *sigh*
For more information about Ippudo, check out their New York branch website: