Ippudo, Mandarin Gallery

According to food blogs’ rumors, Ippudo is the #1 ramen in Japan and it has come to Singapore! Usually, I don’t like the lonely feeling of eating alone in a restaurant – but I took a trip down to town just for this. Usually, I don’t queue but when I arrived at 11.50 a.m. (before lunchtime!) there was already a queue. Unbelievable. Don’t people need to work these days? Is the economy doing so well they can skip work for 10 minutes and afford to lose their jobs over a bowl of ramen?

This is one of the few exceptions that I queued for food and the experience was fun. Behind me, a dowdy Asian woman–not pretty, not young–fumed at her White boyfriend for not coming earlier to get a place. She’d better watch that temper of hers, no White colonial master can take it for long, especially when she has nothing to offer, unless maybe her vagina has suction and can shoot ping pong balls. In front of me was a Thai middle-aged man, dressed as an executive, who spent all his time chatting on his iphone, until he was seated (opposite me) and it was time to order. Pretending to be busy, no wonder he rose up the ranks.


The young waiter who took my order is damn sexy. Finally, a waiter who isn’t from China. He speaks very well, sounding like he is a student from elite schools (like ACJC or RJC) waiting for his army enlistment. He’s slightly above average looking but what is so attractive about him is his cockiness. His hair is permed into an afro ‘do. How fucking sexy is individualism, especially in strait-laced, copy-Taiwanese-hairstyle Singapore. I’d date him in an instant.

After he took my order, he turned his back to walk away. The Thai Executive, still on the phone, called for him. The waiter didn’t hear him but one of his female colleagues did and she called the waiter to return and take the order of the Thai. I didn’t understand why the waitress couldn’t do it herself. The Waiter returned and waited by the Thai’s table for him to finish his conversation – and I thought Thais are polite?

When the waitress served the food, they mixed up our orders. She served mine to the Thai. After a brief moment, he notified her of her mistake and she bought the ramen to me. I said very plainly and politely, “I don’t want this bowl which the man may have touched.” It made perfect sense to me, I was reading and didn’t see if the Thai had eaten from it.

The waitress went blank and all of a sudden, there were three waitresses surrounding me. I didn’t understand the commotion. I only asked to change the food very politely because I didn’t want to drink someone else’s saliva. I thought perhaps they didn’t understand me so I said again, “I don’t want food if a stranger has eaten from it.”

At this point, the Thai intervened, very politely, saying he hadn’t touched the food. Perhaps, now as I am writing this, I understand the situation: the Waiter can take orders because he knows English, and the waitresses are merely servers who don’t understand English, from China maybe. Like a factory, it is cheaper to assign roles. But why can’t the waitresses do a good job out of such a simple thing as serving up the dish?

I ordered the Spicy Four Season Ramen because it’s the most expensive, $15 without toppings, while the rest are about the same price with toppings. I added three toppings: (1) Onions, (2) pork belly, and (3) egg. I also ordered gyoza (fried dumplings).

When the onions came, I was shaken. I thought they were fried onions but they were merely green onions and normal diced onions and for such a minimal proportion, smaller than the palm of my hand, it costs $2! Food court gives it for free! So this had better be organic and imported from a farm in Hokkaido.

The pork belly was a waste of my calories! Pork belly has alternate strata of meat and fat, like a rainbow, so it is very, very fat, and animal fat is directly converted to human fats—excess carbs and sugars need some energy to be converted to human fats but animal fats don’t!–a thin slice probably sets you back 30 minutes on the treadmill, and so only good pork belly is worth eating. But this one didn’t melt in the mouth and had an uncleaned porky taste.

The soup was powdery! The ramen had lost of its spring! But what was most, most unforgivable was the egg. Japanese ramen egg is supposed to be hard-boiled but with runny yolk. AND THIS WAS HARD EVERYWHERE, Rihanna will tell you that HARD is only good in a man, not in food. Simply inexcusable, inexcusable!

I beckoned one of the waiters who happened to walk by. JAPANESE WAITER. YUMS. I asked him, “Is your egg supposed to be hard?” He explained very nicely that it was because of hygiene reasons and apologized that they ought to state it in their menu. I felt like retorting, then ask those hygienic people not to order it. Who cares about hygiene?! I’ve eaten unknown meat and entrails beside the drain in Bangkok where they use the murky drain water to cook and wash their bowls. I can take a runny yolk!

Then he made a joke about my Joseph Conrad book, which I didn’t understand but laughed heartily with him.

Lastly, the gyoza might as well be called fried wheat skin with a thin string of meat. They were oily and stuck together. By the end of the meal, I had to force myself to chew chew chew and swallow. After that, I wanted to vomit it all out.

Here is the end of this review: it sucks!

333A Orchard Rd
Mandarin Gallery
T: 6235 2797

Rating: 2.491/5 stars

Categories: $0-$20, $20-$40, Japanese, Orchard

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