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!

Ippudo's exterior

Bar interior Interior
Interior photos

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.

Extras sign Ramen menu
“Extras” sign & Menu

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.

Braised Pork Belly PORK BELLEH

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.

Karaka-men closeup Helen's picking up some ramen
Spoon of Kakara-men
Helen’s Kakara-men (bowl, picking up the ramen, and her spoon of food)

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.

Shiromaru NY Shio ramen Bowl of Shiromaru NY & Shio ramen

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.

Pinisi's window
Pinisi’s window

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

Pinisi Bakery
128 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003


I shoot, eat, and drink. My full time job is a hospital administrator. Moonlighting as a freelance photographer and food and travel writer.

  1. mike says:

    I think the “extras” are not meant to be a true side but it’s like an additional topping to put in your ramen which kiiinda explains the small size. Ippudo still goes beyond what I would regular pay for ramen though.

  2. thewanderingeater says:

    Mike: Yeah…that’s what I thought after getting that. But still for $3 I was expecting a little more, ya know?

  3. Ippudo is a bit on the pricey side, but it’s the most authentic bowl of noodles you’ll get in Manhattan. I dunno what’s happened over at Setagaya, but they’ve totally gone downhill from when they first opened. If you like braised pork belly and you ever feel like making the trip out to edgewater NJ, the Mitsuwa there has a Santoka Ramen (another japanese chain) inside that has an amazing tori-niku ramen (creamy pork).

  4. Ethan says:

    I’ve been to Ippudo once, loved the broth but the noodles felt like they came right out of an instant noodle bag (I’m sure they are not, but looks and tastes like they do)

  5. SuDoughName says:

    A friend and mine have been talking about going to Ippudo for months… literally! He lives near it and has been peeping in every day after work to see when it would open but we still haven’t gone. This review really kick us to.

    And it’s true. Ramen joints in the city charge an arm and a leg but wow, if you can find a good tonkotsu broth and noodles… it is worth it.

    Ethan – sounds like the noodles here are harder, just the way I like them – yum!

  6. kim says:

    I’ve eaten at both Ippudo and Santoka Ramen at Mitsuwa and I think Ippudo is better since it is less greasy. It is tad expensive for Ramen though. Loved Ippudo’s interior.

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