By the time Hakata Ippudo had been open for four days, I'd been there twice. I had told FashionGeek Virginia that I wasn't that excited by the whole Ippudo hype, save for the barbecue pork bun, but I lied so bad. It was love at Akamaru Shinaji.
For anyone who hasn't caught the ramen wave yet, Ippudo is the latest Japanese ramen import to sweep the city. The chain, opened by official Ramen King Shigemi Kawahara some two decades ago, offers excessively tasty ramen in a limited number of broth combinations, with extra garnishes you can choose to customize your bowl. Interestingly, Hakata Ippudo in Causeway Bay offers different broths to the first Ippudo shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, featuring more Tonkotsu-based soups. My first visit, I had the Akamaru Shinaji -- man OH MAN is it divine soup. The second time, I had the Shoyu Tonkotsu, which is a twist on the original Tonkotsu soup with added Ippudo secret soy sauce. It was good -- sweeter, but just not as flavourful as the first one.
The other must-try is the barbecue pork belly in a fluffy white sandwich wrap, with lettuce and kewpie. I don't really need to sell this, if you like food you probably know that anything plus kewpie is a good idea. Soup dumplings were nothing to complain about either -- the soup base is almost as good as the ramen broth.
Hakata Ippudo is at 2/F, 8 Russell Street, Causeway Bay. No ressies, sorry, but inquiries at 2892 2387.