I’d heard good things of the ramen at Ippudo and even a Tokyo-native colleague recommended it to me before I set off to Japan. However, with busy times in the office prior to our trip, I didn’t have time to look up its locations and just decided to mostly wing our eating when we were there. Imagine my surprise when we passed an Ippudo in Ueno while we were walking back to our hotel the previous night! There and then we decided that our last dinner in Tokyo would be ramen.

The next night, we duly made our way there and waited for only about 10 minutes before a table freed to accommodate the four of us.

I had to try the Akamaru New, noodles in a tonkotsu broth but with ‘koyu’ (a fragrant black garlic oil) and ‘umami-dama’ (a savoury spice ball). I also added an egg to my order.

Akamaru Ramen

This was some amazing tonkotsu broth, all creamy and rich and porky. I would have liked the noodles to be a bit firmer but I didn’t know then that I could have requested a specific noodle firmness. The slices of pork charshu on top were brilliantly melt in the mouth tender. This was an amazing bowl of ramen.

I didn’t pay too much notice to the condiments on the side as I found my soup to be perfect just as it was. But there was vinegar, soy sauce, pepper, chilli oil and sesame seeds to add to your ramen to make it perfect for you.


Further condiments included raw garlic, pickled ginger and all the spicy beansprouts you’d like to eat.


Having some gyoza on the side was surely mandatory, this being our last full meal in Japan. Ippudo’s mini gyoza with spicy yuzu paste went down a treat. Yes, I think I cleared almost this entirely plate myself – oink oink. They were excellent.

Mini Gyoza with Spicy Yuzu Paste

Brilliant. Best ramen I’ve had in a while. Please come to London, Ippudo (I mean, c’mon, you’re already in New York!).

Ueno, Taito-ku, Tokyo 3-17-5
(but there are lots of branches throughout Japan)