Everything I know about eating ramen, I learned from Tampopo, a Japanese cult film about a single-minded obsession for the perfect noodle soup. Reciting the steps quietly, I entered this new Central Park store.
It’s the Japanese chain’s second Australian venture; and, decked out in black, red and blonde wood, it’s a stylish (if brightly lit) space. A raucous kitchen chorus heralded my arrival, blending with an equally chaotic avant-garde jazz soundtrack.
Both mask the happy sounds of zuzotto – the correct way of slurping or ‘inhaling’ ramen.
Pickled cucumber - Goma Q ($7) - prepares the palate.
When your Shoyu Ramen Special ($21) arrives, take a moment to appreciate its beauty, before adding fixings from your side plate - a flavoured soft-boiled egg (fun to split and enrich the broth), seaweed sheets, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, shallots and chashu – simmered pork belly.
While eyeing off those wonderfully moist pork slices, devour the noodles.
Enjoy the mix of flavours against the springy wheat noodles, and then drink some of the broth.
If you like more intensity, the Akamaru Shinaji Special ($24) includes miso and garlic oil.
Finally, and decisively, select one of those glorious pork slices. Drain it using a small tap on the side of your bowl then savour – it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for!
Ippudo Central Park
Central Park RB07, Lower Ground Floor, 28 Broadway, Chippendale
Ph: (02) 8078 7020