Ippudo x 7-11

The other day I stumbled onto Ippudo instant ramen in a box. Ippudo is a beloved ramen chain in Japan and the U.S. I swear, the Ippudo in NY costs about $15 a bowl before tax and tip with lines that are out the door and around the corner. In Japan, Ippudo is popular but not as popular as they are in the States.

It’s bizarre to see such a loved chain collaborate with 7-11 and Nissin (the Top Ramen people – Top Ramen sells those 5 packs of instant ramen for a dollar) and why they would bring $1.50 Ippudo branded ramen is beyond me.

There are so many ramen choices here, I would never buy and eat this. Cheap instant ramen is a bit scary. Hi, MSG bomb.

Japan!

Ramen

Everyone get excited. It’s ramen time!

Ramen, ramen, ramen, RAMEN — everyone loves ramen. With ramen, it’s all about equal opportunity. From ramen in cups, to cheap bajillion packages for a dollar instant ramen, to lining up an hour and a half for craft ramen in NYC, there is something about a bowl of piping hot broth and squiggly noodles that makes the world a better place. Confession: I didn’t like ramen until my late adult years, but that is a story for another day.

Lucky me, there are several notable ramen joints all within a half mile radius of my home. I really, really love my neighborhood.

Conveniently located right by the station is Afuri, popular among locals and tourists.

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Ippudo in Hakata, Japan

*Note: this is one leg of an eight night, nine day in 15 or so different cities around Japan.

 

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What is it with the south and women?

In the US, there are Southern Belles. In China, the area south of the Yellow River was famous for beautiful women. And in Japan, Hakata Bijin (博多美人). Hakata is a southern region of Japan. Bijin means beauty. This region is known for the beautiful women and…ramen.

I’m standing in front of the original Ippudo in Hakata, Fukuoka — the Kyushu area of Japan. The queue is short. The store front has character. Everyone around me is ecstatic to eat at the original Ippudo and I’m just… not hungry.

Those who know me, know I eat. I mean EAT. Like, what-the-fuck-you-are-unlady-like-you-put-Texans-to-shame type chowing down.

This isn’t really anything to brag about, but I’m rambling on, hoping my fingers channel some room in my stomach.

It’s not really working.

What am I doing anyway? I’m hanging out here to have a bowl of Ippudo ramen made at the mothership just so I can say: I ate the original Ippudo — take that, foodies.

That is a bit lame. Which reminds me, I haven’t seen a Hakata Bijin yet. Hakata bijins are more interesting to me at the moment, so maybe I’ll just leave and go search for one.

Besides. There is an Ippudo across the street from my apartment in Tokyo and I rarely go. Afuri, known for their yuzu ramen and charred pork more aligns with my palate anyway.

Everyone I know in the States, is obsessed with this darn ramen. And I just can’t be bothered. I guess you can take a girl out of New York, but you can’t take the NY attitude out of the girl.