Kyushu Media Fam Trip 2011: Famous Pork-Broth Ramen at Ippudo Tao

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay Blog | Blog Post of Cheryl Tay

My first meal in Kyushu was a taste of its famous pork-broth ramen at the famous Hakata ramen chain called Ippudo Tao.



Opened by Japan’s ramen king Shigemi Kawahara, the red and black modern concept of the diner is inspired by renowned Japanese taiko group TAO. The dynamic music of TAO resounded throughout the diner as their videos were being played on overhead plasma screens.


270928_219316264769285_131620790205500_683647_5715618_nPart of the restaurant’s decor was made up of drumsticks if you noticed…


It’s also of an open kitchen concept where you could sit at the counter and slurp your ramen up quickly while watching them prepare the dishes. It was lunchtime and very crowded when I was there, but the turnover is very high as the bowls were served up very quickly and also slurped up just as efficiently.

270780_219316238102621_131620790205500_683646_2965227_nAligned with the restaurant’s strong black and red colours, the two signature dishes of Ippudo are its Tao Kuro and Tao Aka. Actually, there are only three types of ramen served.


Tao Kuro is the ‘black’ ramen with thick, chewy noodles soaked in tonkatsu (pork bone) soup blackened with soy sauce…


…while Tao Aka is the ‘red’ choice with thin noodles in tonkatsu soup that has been brewed for 18 hours and mixed with fish stock and their in-house spicy miso sauce.


The third and only other option on the menu is the Ippudo Shiro which has ultra-thin ramen noodles and goes back to the basics of Hakata ramen.


We also ordered a serving of their Hakata bite-sized dumplings which fits into your mouth nicely, yum!


For some reason, the additional toppings on the table for the ramen had a Korean touch to it:

251260_219316364769275_131620790205500_683653_6198887_nWith countless stores in Japan, Ippudo Tao is also present in New York and Singapore – at Mandarin Gallery or United Square, just in case you want to try it for yourself.

261782_219316381435940_131620790205500_683654_7202958_nThat’s me with the restaurant manager and here’s me with the tour guide and JTB representative outside the shop…

263836_219316401435938_131620790205500_683655_6564486_nI might just head over to either of the Singapore outlets to see if it tastes just as good as this one in Kyushu! I’m sure it’ll be just as tasty.. anyone craving for some pork broth Kyushu ramen?


Next on my Kyushu media fam trip: Too much chicken at Hakata Hanamidori 

Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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