This could be the unholy food union you didn’t know you needed.
IPPUDO, the brainchild of “Ramen King“ Shigemi Kawahara, is back at it again with the boundary-pushing food crossovers of your wildest dreams. Teaming up with fellow Japanese giant Calbee, the ramen restaurant’s signature ramen noodles are melded with Calbee’s snack foods to create a Hot & Spicy Potato Chips Crispy Maze-Soba Ramen ($88) and limited-edition ramen-flavoured potato chips ($10.20). These are destined to be the greatest cheat snacks of our lives.
The special-edition maze-soba dish starts things off with a dense tonkotsu sauce adapted from IPPUDO's signature soup base, a bed of ramen noodles, toppings of slow-cooked char siu, poached egg, marinated red onion and a crispy, deep-fried nest of shredded potato.
So where do the Calbee chips come in? Well, you mix them in yourself – from the side dishes served, hence the name maze-soba, which means “mixed noodles” and commonly refers to a soupless ramen dish. The crushed Hot & Spicy chips and spicy miso paste were instant hits, with their rich flavours and layered textures adding an unexpected kick to the ramen. The tomato and basil salad, however, was just a little too outlandish for us.
But there’s more – a whole menu of potato-inspired creations, in fact. For starters, we'll dive into the Hot & Spicy Potato Chips with Cheese and Miso ($28), a flavourful otsumami that combines Calbee's Hot & Spicy chips with a crown of melted cheese and the signature bolognese-like minced-meat miso from IPPUDO's Karaka ramen. And, for dessert, a silky Melty Ice Cream with Sweet Potato in Stone Pot ($48) that’s quite unlike anything you’ve had before; sink your teeth into syrup-coated, fried sweet potato chunks along with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This innovative – and, frankly, downright bizarre – menu, launched in celebration of the ramen chain’s seventh anniversary, will be available at all IPPUDO outlets in Hong Kong until 31 October 2018.
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