Shaw Center has been under renovation for the longest time, but the once-sleepy, terribly-aged mall is slowly coming back to life. The new tenant-mix is predominantly food-related (always a big draw with food-crazy locals) and new restaurants have recently started sprouting. Amongst them is lauded ramen great Ippudo, with their 6th store joining the stable.
Ippudo is one of my all-time favourite ramen joints, but I've always found it a turnoff to have to queue at their Mandarin Gallery restaurant. It's great news then, that they've spawned a few more branches, including this Shaw Center one, to ease the crunch at their Mandarin Gallery outlet.
I like that this Shaw Center outlet isn't too packed (yet), so service is consequently more attentive and personalised. For a casual(ish) ramen spot, Ippudo's service is refreshingly top-notch.
Our favourite ramen here, the Spicy Black ($16) was a heady mix of miso paste with minced meat, topped with tender pork belly and shoyu braised egg. We opted for the "hard" noodles, which we find to be the only variant with bite.
We luxed up the ramen with a Special Topping ($9), comprising a melty pork cube, simmered bamboo shoots and crunchy cabbage strips, and an extra Tamago ($3).
A new feature on their menu is the hotplate items, and the Umakara Ton Toro ($12) a sizzling hotplate of juicy pork cheeks sauteed with cabbage, chillis and spring onions, was punchy and spicy.
After all that spice, the Edamame ($6), with its clean and clear flavours, was a welcome palate cleanser.
1 Scotts Road #04-22
Tel: 6235 2547
Open daily from 11.30am to 10pm