I recently became a Ippudo Premium Member! sigh*
As I illustrated above, you have to clear 3 stages in order to become a premium member. You have to eat a total of 60 bowls of ramen during a limited period of time to get your Premium Member’s card. I just want to clarify that I did NOT eat all 60 by myself… My friends and family gave me some of their stamps :p
When you clear each of the stages, you get some sort of perk for completing it. For the first few stages, you get a small booklet with coupons for free stuff like kaedama (extra noodles) and half gyoza. Once you clear the final level and become Premium status though, you can take up to 3 guests with you and (all of us) can enjoy a free kaedama or a free topping (flavored egg) every time you visit Ippudo for a year. Note that this is only applicable to the Ippudo Japan locations.
I also received an amazing Premium Gift Package (shown in the pictures above)! It included all of the following items:
– Ippudo ceramic bowl that says “Thank You!” at the bottom
– Ippudo original chopsticks
– Ren-geh (Chinese spoon)
– Ippudo towel
– Ippudo ramen home set (comes with akamaru and shiromaru with an extra kaedama!)
I’m very pleased with this generous gift set that they provide to their loyal customers.
My Post on Ippudo // http://www.tokyoeats.jp/ippudo-ramen/
Related Website // http://www.ippudo.com/news/2009/06/post_28.html
The famous Ippudo Ramen opened a Soba House in February (2012)!
It’s located inside of an Ippudo ramen house, but it’s separated into it’s own area once you walk in. They named it “Soba Combo Watanabe” and this Ippudo is actually the only one in world that serves soba at this point. It’s pretty interesting because they use their famous pork broth soup in one of their 4 menu options. The other 3 soba come with a katsuo (bonito)-based soup.
My friend and I both tried the “Spicy Tantanmen Soba” (790yen), and thought it was pretty good but it reminded us of the peanut sauce which is often used in Thai food. When you are about to finish your tantanmen, they give you some rice to eat is as “Zosui“, which i thought was fun. The other one pictured above is the “Imoten Soba” (730yen) and it felt like more of a traditional soba. Even though the soup was quite strong, I wish I had ordered that one! It comes with Sweet Potato Tempura and you eat one with the sauce, but they advise you to eat the second one with honey as a type of dessert.
Not sure how this new concept of Ippudo Soba will do here but it’s definitely is a fun idea. The employees were very nice and the ambiance was a traditional counter space with a modern twist.
Address // B1, 3-8-37, Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5772-1521
Website // http://www.ippudo.com/index.html
Ippudo ramen is famous for their tonkotsu-based (pork) soup which originated from Hakata, Japan. They are located through out Japan, and in recent years, they have branched out to locations internationally such as Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, and Seoul (though their international locations have slightly different menus).
Depending on the location, there are lines out the door, and during lunch it’s usually hard to get a seat. If it’s your first time, I recommend you try their “akamaru” or “shiromaru” ramen with a side of gyoza – so good! If you are craving a spicy ramen, try their “Ippudo karakamen” — for which you can specify different levels of spicyness (I can only go up to level 3!). I also love that they have a wide variety of condiments and side dishes so you can mix up the flavors. For example, they have takana, ginger, crushed sesame seeds, garlic etc. The moyashi (a free side-dish) that is on the table is slightly spicy but is one of my favorite things to eat before having ramen.
PS: Check out what you get when becoming an Ippudo Premium Member
Address // 1-3-13, Hiro, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5420-2225
Website // www.ippudo.com