Only 200 meters from newly opened Kodawari Ramen is newly opened Ippudo. The St. Germain neighborhood is posh and trendy, and it is good to see them with a couple great ramen shops.
Ippudo is Ippudo. Either you love it and obsess, or you just enjoy it as a normal bowl. Me, I slurp at my local Ippudo on occasion, and am always satisfied. They've been pushing the ramen-envelope quite a bit lately, with their global expanse showing no ends. With the recent news that they teamed up with Panda Express, get ready for Ippudo to be all over the place in America in the near future.
While their US business is set to explode, the European side of things has taken some time. Ippudo had planned a Parisian ramen dining restaurant akin to their New York branch some time ago, but the delays have been non-stop. Construction problems, tenant issues, supply problems, it has been so long that they decided to go ahead and open a second shop, before the first could start serving.
This shop is smaller, and the menu is mostly just ramen. My kind of shop!
Well, the standard akamaru is just how I remember it. No review needed.
The master here is none other than Conner Callahan, whom I met at Ippudo's ramen competition last year. He insisted that I try their vegetarian bowl. Two bowls in a row, no problem.
Gasp. Whoah. OMG.
This is, in all honesty, the best vegetarian bowl of ramen I've ever had. The soup is a blend of a Japanese kelp and mushroom dashi and a French vegetable bouillon. The combination is so full of umami. I was shocked at this bowl.
The noodles are made like those at Soranoiro in Tokyo, with paprika giving them a bright orange hue.
The toppings; fried mushrooms and a dollop of ratatouille.
This recipe was developed by the head chef of their New York branch.
Out of a dozen or so shops in Tokyo doing a vegetarian bowl, I can only recommend two. Ippudo's Paris branch would make that three. Any chances of Ippudo opening a branch of their French shop in Japan?
Good luck Ippudo, though you don't really need it.
Official Site Here
14 rue Grégoire de Tours
Closest station: Odeon
Open 12:00-16:00, 18:00-0:30 (Sunday until 22:30)