Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ippei An (麵屋一平安) - ♕♕♕♕

Founded by Miss Itsuko Shimada,
Ippei An is a chain of Ramen & Bar Restaurants in HK which has expanded over the years to its 4 present shops, as well as a newly opened outlet in Taiwan.  It specializes in Kyushu 九州 style Cuisine, especially Kumamoto and Nagasaki influenced foods such as Champon Ramen, one of its signatures here and which I hate its guts to be very honest :P.    One of the lesser known aspects of the Ippei An, is that they are also affiliated with the famous and established Ramen-ya  Higomon’s (ひごもんず ) in Tokyo, operated by another native Kyushu owner.

The noodles of Ippei An are imported directly from Higomon’s in Tokyo.  That relationship extends to its adaptation of a Higomon’s Tonkotsu base soup recipe and how they prepare then slow roast their Char Siu pork.  Unfortunately, the original outlet in TST East really underperforms ~ later visits to Ippei An’s Mira Shopping Centre outlet and the Causeway Bay branch however,  performed much closer to its true advertised potential..
Ippei An, also trading under the famous
Tokyo based Higomon’s Ramen brand…
Apart from being a Ramen shop,
it’s also a Japanese Bar selling hard to source Sake’s,
also Shochu & beers..
My selection of Sake on one of the nights…
きき酒セット -
For $68, you can select from a choice of 3 Sake Tastings, a bargain..
I chose from left to right, 白岳仙 はくがくせん,  飛露喜  ひろき & 旭鳳  きょくほう.  The leftest for its dryness, the 2nd is the most rarest type and limited edition known for its complex layering and aroma, the 3rd has a distinct sourness which could be drank Hot rather than Cold as well - 8/10
Starter of marinated daikon shreds -
Another starter of creamy pasta strand -
オムライス -
Omurice Set is made ok well with the thinnish egg crepe wrapped all the way around the rice, quite authentically, served with a creamy yet
mushy Potato salad and garden salad -  7/10
Wrapped nicely,
unfortunately the omelette itself was a little thin and light in egg taste,
chicken rice meanwhile was slightly too lumpy…  getting there
Miso Soup was good.  With Nameko mushrooms,
also both Silken Tofu and Dried Tofu -
Grilled Tuna cheek meat with Salt was slightly bloody and fresh fishy in taste,
but all within the norm -
皿うどん -
A Nagasaki special, much like Champon Ramen which I’ve tried in this chain before,
this is a rare item to find within Hong Kong and which I used to eat whenever I visited 長崎 in Japan.  Its not only served in China Town either, as its an established Nagasaki localised dish.   A crispy fried noodles dish derived from Cantonese origins, much similar to a few dishes found in Eastern Kyushu area...  This had Pork, Squid, Fish Cakes, Moyashi, Spring Onions, Cabbage and Beni Shoga (red ginger). 
Magnificent!  -  9/10
Japanese Mustard (Karashi) is a must when eating this noodles dish,
bringing out its best ~  feel free to ask for more Mustard from the staff..
特製らーめん -
A Ramen bowl, combining Stewed Pork 豚角煮, Half-cooked egg 煮たまご, and Char Siu Pork, with Tonkotsu 豚骨 based soup.  This was quite garlicky and oily, but to me missing that desired depthness in the soup.  Noodles were Tokyo imported thick white strands, made well -  6.5/10
Pickled garlic,
are available for mincing and for topping the noodles.. 
Not required as the soup base was already super garlicky and mouth drying….
おむすび (明太子) -
This looks much as an Onigiri, but is a rounder 俵型 Musubi which is commonly found upwards of Mid-North Japan.  Pretty strange to find it in a Southern Kyushu restaurant with Mentaiko chili roes indeed.  Served warm with radish pickles and very lovely -  9/10
Blues Acoustic Nights to go with their Ramen and Bar drinks are regularly organised.. *They also have Sake Tasting Nights each Autumn and Spring 2 times a Year, book with the staff if you remember!
Remember to come to the right branch!

Price: $220 per person

Score:  ★★
*Visit here for their rare 皿うどん fried noodles and Sake Tasting Night.  Well prepared Omusubi rice balls are also recommended. Ramen not bad either, except their Champon.

Opening Hours:
Mon to Sunday -  12:00 - 00:00

(4/F,Circle Plaza,No.499 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay)
Ph: 3741 1166
Previous Review: -

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