Because I have the highest expectations for Ippudo I came away feeling kinda so-so about the Singapore branch. Ippudo Manhattan has never disappointed but maybe my standards have risen since eating so much ramen in Tokyo, I don't know. When my bowl of "Akamaru Kasaneaji" arrived it looked to be bursting with flavor. It's a tonkotsu soup with pork belly, fragrant garlic oil and blended miso paste. Unfortunately the flavors didn't live up to their colorful promise. It left me flat - just not enough flavor.
Much better was Pingle's "seasonal" Kyusyu Miso Tonkotsu which whose pork broth was loaded with blended miso, cabbage, leek, spring onion, pork belly, half egg and pork loin. The menu described it as "mild in flavor" but man was it the opposite. She was nice enough to leave me some and it proved to be the highlight of the meal.
The pork buns still taste fatty and excellent but they've gotten skimpier over time. This is the case in NY as well. First time I went, they were brimming with fat slices of pork and now you can barely see the pork sticking out. I can picture some suit-monkey at HQ sending out memos to cut back on the pork portions to save money.
It didn't seem to bother the crowd - the place was packed and lively and most seemed pleased as they slurped their noodles. Call me sour - I just expect more from Ippudo. I expect to be knocked out with the taste - especially for the price. I'm sure the location doesn't help the pricing, the Mandarin Gallery is one of those swank malls that I only window shop at.
333 Orchard Rd