Lunch at Ippudo & Pinisi
I’m slowly getting back into the groove of writing my belated posts to you since I’m currently “researching” my article. In other words, eating stuff, taking photos, etc. So, here’s food outing that occurred two weeks ago.
Helen and I were chatting online during the morning at work, scheming what we want to eat for lunch. A while back I mentioned about a ramen place that opened in the East Village and I wanted to check it out. Since Helen loves noodles, she jumped at the chance and agreed to eat with me at Ippudo!
As we’re escorted to one of their communal tables, we sat down and soaked in the atmosphere of this place. It’s quite chic for a noodle bar compared to Ramen Setagaya that I went to the past winter. The interior’s done in black and red with a sprawling bamboo tree sculpture.
The first thing that shot out from that table was the “Extras” sign that indicated that they serve braised pork belly. I don’t know about you but if you ever had braised anything, it almost always tastes awesome and succulent. So we’ve split an order and we had our own bowl of ramen.
When the pork belly arrived a minute before our ramen, I was shocked to find that the portion of pork belly was minuscule. I guess when they mean “extra” it’s just a small side of a chunk of fatty pork goodness. When I ate my half, I craved for more.
As you have seen from that plodge of food porn above, that Helen’s bowl of Kakara-men. Looks luscious, no? I didn’t try her noodles since I have my own bowl of ramen. However, I did try her the broth. It’s well seasoned, a bit thinner in comparison to mine (which I will talk about in a bit) and a tad spicier due to that little mound of hot pepper sauce on top. Not bad from the broth, I guess with her noodles, vegetables and seaweed it’s pretty darn tasty.
When I got my bowl of Shiromaru NY it looks relatively small compared to what I had at Ramen Setagaya and a lot less noodles since I see mostly broth with a thin slice of roast pork, scallions and what looks thinly sliced mushrooms on top. Anyway, when I took my spoon and tried a sip of the broth I was amazed how rich and silky it was (from the pork bones since it’s tonkotsu soup), also it wasn’t ridiculously salty like I had at Setagaya. Picking up my chopsticks and lifting the long strands of noodles, it looks promising. Taking a bite of the thin noodles they were firm, almost al dente. The cabbage that’s in this bowl gave it a nice, sweet crunch and with the soup it created a wonderful flavor sensation in my mouth. Sure, the price tag of $13 is a bit much for a bowl of soup and noodles but it’s New York.
After Helen and I finished our ramen and paid the check, we wanted dessert. I remembered that Pinisi was close so we walked over there for dessert.
Since we’re indecisive about what to get for dessert (except maybe have one of everything), we ended up getting our own cupcake. Helen gotten the red velvet cupcake and I gotten myself the tres leches cupcake since the girl who worked there recommended it and it sound different compared to any other bakery I’ve encountered. I remembered a while back Robyn touted their red velvet was awesome, and indeed it was when I tried Helen’s. Soft, light and tender with their rich and slightly tart cream cheese frosting…man, I was happy. When I tried my tres leches cupcake, I thought it’s fine. It’s very moist because of the milks and the cake is tender but I’m not too fond of it. It tasted like it’s missing something but I don’t know what exactly.
65 Fourth Avenue
New York, NY 10003
128 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003