Ippudo ramen is a world class ramen chain that seems to be on an expansion kick recently. They’ve joined up with Panda Restaurant Group (yes, as in Panda Express…) to bring Ippudo to the West Coast (Berkeley & Santa Monica, are you ready?), and now it looks like they’ve come out with nama ramen versions of both their white and red miso ramen!
I was excited to find these at the local Mitsuwa supermarket. I also had high expectations, seeing how they were almost twice as expensive as other nama ramen, like Sun Noodles’ version of miso ramen.
First up, the Ippudo shiro-miso (white miso) ramen! I was looking forward to re-living my New York Ippudo experience, and well…it’s decent…I guess… The soup was a bit too sweet, and didn’t have much depth to it. It was a much-too-generic and not-very-exciting miso soup with a slight onion-ness to it, and that was it. The noodles were good and chewy, but that’s not enough to save the soup.
And the aka-miso (red miso) ramen was…hmm…I had to run back to the fridge to make sure I cooked the right ramen. The aka-miso was practically identical to the shiro-miso. It was slightly less sweet and the miso flavor was just a tad stronger, but frankly, if you weren’t paying close attention, you wouldn’t notice much of a difference.
Nama ramen is obviously not going to taste the same as actual restaurant ramen, but this was not even close. I’m sad to say I was disappointed. I’m still looking forward to their West Coast openings, and hope I won’t have to wait too long!