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“top notch ramen, but still too pricey for what it is despite how great”
Review of Hakata Ippudo NY

Hakata Ippudo NY
Ranked #386 of 14,378 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $15 - $20
Cuisines: Japanese
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Breakfast, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Manhattan
Reviewed September 7, 2013

In the Bay Area, CA there is a place called Orenchi Ramen that has over 2000 reviews. It is THE ramen place to go to, which I have by the way. I was a bit underwhelmed upon having to deal with the wait and finally having the hyped concoction that is ramen. I must say it was good, but the wait didn't seem worth it compared to competitors which I thought were just as good with no wait and a bit cheaper.

Enter Ippudo NY in East Village. Would this be deja vu? Yes there was indeed a wait, BUT their system was much better--ironically. They implement this phone app that updates you on your wait, and automatically sends you text when you are up--again did I mention ironically since the Bay Area, Silicon Valley tech central could not do this, but all the way in NY they can? This allowed us to walk around East Village and enjoy the sights.

So we finally get called up and I must say the vibe, atmosphere, decor, the enthusiasm of the staff was wonderful. All the ramen places I've been to could not beat those categories that Ippudo just set the standard for. We sit in what looks like a community table, since it was only 2 of us, as the booths were setup for big parties which was no big deal. We order, but what sticks out here is the PRICE of each ramen bowl. It will AVERAGE 14-15 per order, NOT INCLUDING TOPPINGS, so that egg you want? EXTRA, it's like $2 more. Ippudo also set the highest price Ramen I've been to.

So how was it? Despite the price, it was very very good. The service, the experience, the food, it was all great. The portion was good, but not $15-16 good.

I would highly recommend trying this place, but I had to deduct a star because despite how great the ramen is, I don't believe the wait and the high price justifies it.

So how does it compare to Orenchi? This place makes Orenchi Ramen VERY AFFORDABLE, on my review at Orenchi, I complained that there were just as good around the area for cheaper, but Orenchi has a FEW bucks cheaper on Ippudo. BUT, Ippudo IMO does taste better, but still not worth the extra $$.

Also to add, staff, service, was top notch. Water was always filled, and our waiter was always on point, never intrusive--seemed to be there at the right times.

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Thank gn116
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 4, 2013

Returned after a year or so and found everything as terrific as in the past. For some reason, the noise level adds to the enjoyment of the meal. The ramen broth is so good it brings tears to my eyes. I normally eschew long lines but it's worth the wait here.

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Thank TreborRemag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Good ramen and pork bun, what else is there to say? Decor is good too, I like ramen in general so this was not an insane step up and I think the queue makes you hungrier and the food tastier.

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Thank Daniel C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Loved the Japanese food and the ramen was fabulous! Really great appetizers to share and yummy pork buns! Ramens were great, we had the chef special and the modern. With 5 girls, we split 3 ramens and it was more than enough with the apps we had shared. The restaurant seemed small (the mirrored walls are deceiving) & you can't make reservations in advance so the wait time was quoted as 2.5 hours! Although we got in earlier than that wait, so it's worth waiting for if you have the time.

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Thank Lauren O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

As a New Yorker I am all about standing in long line for the best dumplings, the best broadway show, the best designer cocktails at the best speak-easy and the best ramen... Ippudo is not the best ramen in town, despite the hype they have generated about themselves, and despite the long lines they now attract (and cultivate) every lunch and dinner in service of growing the hype that was and is utterly unfounded, they simply are not.

What's worse, is that Ippudo has started believing it's own hype - a grave error when the food you serve is over-salted and unimaginative and you are in the zip-code with perhaps more igh quality ramen places than anywhere else on the East Coast.

I have been here twice, the first time willingly, the second time dragged by my hipper-than-hipster friends who simply believed they "had" to eat at Ippudo lest they never taste true ramen. I will conflate both visits into one review, because really Ippudo is nothing if not consistent. Consistently horrible - the food, the customer service, the seating, leftovers and waitlist policies.

The pros - Pork Buns... easily one of the best pork buns in the city - although at $9 they should be... for reference you can go around the corner and get identical tasting pork buns for $2-3 at three separate places. And the ones around the corner won't be doused in American mayonnaise?!?

The cons - everything else. The biggest sin is that the ramen itself isn't very good. Now, it's definitely not bad, but if i'm waiting in line for an hour or more, then it better at least be several orders of magnitude better than anywhere else nearby. Ippudo's ramen simply isn't. Perhaps the other glowing reviewers haven't fully explored Lower Manhattan's other ramen options, but as someone who has, there's literally dozens that are better, cheaper and with more vegetarian and variable broth and topping options. But hey, food quality can be a matter of personal choice... so to each their own. What absolutely causes me to recommend people actively avoid this place is the truly horrendous way they treat their customers in the service of building and maintaining hype over substance.

From the way you are shepherded into a tiny, over-priced bar to "wait" for an open table (while tables sit open for hours in the afternoon as they manufacture dinner demand).

From the way the waiters only begrudgingly explain things on the menu in condescending ways if (god forbid) you have any questions

From the pretentiousness of all the servers. period.

From the outrageous no add-ons policy

From the even more outrageous no carry-out policy

From the classless way the waiters prescribe high tips and actively question tables who undertip (i've seen it twice in two visits...)

From the way that food is snatched away from you as soon as (or before) you finish with it

From the disdain they have for their customers to the disinterest they have in improving their product or the experience... From oversalted soup-to-nuts, this place is absolutely all hype, and now that Ippudo believes their own hype, they have absolutely no incentive to change their ways, and as long as tourists keep flocking to the artificially inflated lines of this tacky mecca, they will keep treating us all to as average a culinary experience as you could over-pay for in Lower Manhattan

But the pork buns are good.

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3  Thank AbsolutelyNoBorders
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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