SquareMeal Review of
Ippudo Covent Garden
Founded in Hakata, this international operation believes ‘ramen is a cosmos created in a bowl’: clearly these guys are serious about noodles. Luckily, Ippudo also has the quality and flavours to match its mantra. This multi-storey UK debut features mezzanine floors and narrow walkways which create a cacophonous din, complete with enthusiastic Japanese greetings whenever a customer walks in. The comprehensive menu runs from starters of sticky, tender ‘samurai’ chicken wings or pricey Hirata buns (a trademarked name) to bigger plates ranging from deep-pink, simply presented yellowtail carpaccio to seared Wagyu sirloin, but don’t miss the signature ramen – a choice of two rich, sweet and salty pork tonkotsu riffs (plus veggie counterparts) with optional toppings including pork belly and poached egg. Skip the beautiful but bland desserts, and experiment with the lengthy saké list instead. Walk-ins only.