Saturday, May 10, 2014

Ippudo without ramen

Ippudo's forte has always been ramen. It still is. This other outlet at Mohammad Sultan (207 River Valley Road, #01-55/56 UE Square, tel : +65 6887 5315) previously branded with a 'Tao' has become another Ippudo SG which actually serves up some izakaya-ish plates at dinner. 


The nitamago ikura wasn't quite like how I imagined it. And that's largely because the quality of the ikura was questionable. The textures of the roe was off, didn't quite burst in the mouth and the flavors were flat.


I liked their kuromame cream cheese. I'm not sure if that's just cream cheese in there with the black beans. There was a little sweetness that could've been honey and perhaps, there's mascarpone. For the quantity of the cheese they gave, I think a little more crackers would be nice.


Then there's beef tataki. Which was actually pretty okay-ish if tiny in portions. The flavors weren't amazing, but the ponzu dip helped. The strip on the side was some kind of spicy yuzu paste.


Little tasty crabs frits they do too. This was pretty good, freshly fried.


We ordered some tori hatsu. Of course it's not as good as the King. But, pairing the chicken hearts up with onions was actually quite a good idea.

  
The gyutan was actually not bad at all. I'd order this again if I revisit.



Crispy corn which was actually quite tasty as well. There was sufficient crisp from the light batter, the corn was still a little juicy and everything had that light smokiness from....paprika I think.


The scallops here are unfortunately mediocre. It's obviously frozen from the texture alone and the char markings looked wrong. And to further bring them down, it was topped with their lousy ikura.


I liked their sanshouku gohan. It's pickled nozawana greens, mentaiko and shredded egg over warm rice.


And some sliced brown sugar chiffon rolls to finish off. 

The ikura issue bugged me quite a bit. I'm pretty sure that if they had simply used good or even just decent quality ones, it would have upped the experience by another notch. And that would have been an easy thing to do since it's also an ingredient that needs zero preparation or skill. The scallops were the other main disappointment and the beef tataki.....well, has room for improvement.

It's probably just me, but they should also get the word 'tapas' off their menu. Why bother with a coattail that no one will ever associate you with anyway? It just seems to be an unnecessary dilution of an identity.

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