Reviewed & Written by Choy Kwok Ming
Ippudo ramen restaurant, famed for its delicious ramen, recently launched its full-range Japanese bar at Bangsar Shopping Centre. Presenting their launch was Ippudo Regional Operations consultant Tomo Kudo, who hopes to introduce Japanese bar culture to discerning Malaysians. I have never been to Japan, and was eager to soak in Ippudo’s vision of the heart of Tokyo. According to Tomo-san, Ippudo wanted to give Malaysians a taste of Japan’s famous nightlife, right here in Kuala Lumpur. To do so, Ippudo had reserved an outdoor area, next to their restaurant, complete with a dedicated bar, high tables , wine chiller and bar shelves to display authentic Japanese alcohol.
1 had a quick glance at their drink list and was quite impressed. They had stock of premium Japanese whiskeys from Yamazaki, Habiki and Taketsuru. Ippudo bar also had about 8 different varieties of sake and, for the beer lover, malts from Suntory, Sapporo, Kirin and Hitachino.
Ippudo Regional Operations consultant Tomo Kudo said diners could now enjoy the nightlife and culture of Japan at the Ippudo Bar. Tomo-san stressed that to truly immerse into the “Japanese bar culture”, their Japanese drinks had to be paired with equally tasty Japanese bar food.
“We want to recreate this experience for Malaysians to enjoy Japan’s nightlife in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
“Aside from eating ramen, we want to extend the experience of tasting authentic premium Japanese whiskeys, beer and sake as well as the bar’s key offering of pairing fine food with premium Japanese alchohol,” he said.
A glance at their food menu brought to attention Crispy Sushi Pincos, Camembert Cheese Tempura, fresh sashimi and sushi rolls. If unsure, or just want a second opinion, their bar staff will be on hand to recommend which snack is best suited to your choice of drink. I tried the cheese tempura, sushi pinchos and fried squid tentacles, and found them pleasant with the served alcohol.
The Hana Awaka Sparkling Sake was paired with Crispy Sushi Pinchos while the Junmai Ginjyo Hakuryu went well with the deep fried squid tentacles with seaweed powder.
The Taketsuru 12-year-old whiskey was paired with the Camembert Cheese Tempura.
Tomo said the sparkling sake was smooth and mild in taste and the best one to start the meal with.
“The Junmai Ginjyo Hakuryu is best for meat dishes and can be served warm or chilled depending on the diner’s preference. The quality of the sake is determined by how polished the rice is. The more polished the rice, the better the quality of the sake,” he said.
Whiskey connoisseur might want to try out the range of Japanese whiskeys such as the Yamazaki, Hibiki and Taketsuru.
Ippudo Bar also offer a wide range of Japanese beers including Suntory Premium Malt’s, Kirin Ichiban, Sapporo and craft beers like Hitachino’s white Ale and Nipponia as well as Japanese inspired cocktails.
Head to Lot G110, Ground Floor, Bangsar Shopping Centre to check this new venue out on any day from 11 am to midnight, or visit www.ippudo.com.my for further details.