Beijing Restaurants -- Ippudo

Added on by C. Maoxian.

Ippudo is a chain noodle restaurant out of Japan, I guess. I think there are two branches in Beijing, one in the Kerry Center and one in Oriental Plaza, I visited the latter.  There are lots of chain noodle restaurants around (Mian Ai Mian, Ajisen, Kang Shifu, etc.) but Ippudo is a little more upscale than those. 

Masters of redundancy

They pull out your chair for you and give you a glass of water immediately. I went a little after the end of the lunch hour, so it was fairly empty and service was quick and friendly. Seats feel a bit low to me but I'm larger than the average Japanese. I got the "Special Sapporo Miso" (RMB58, US$9.35), a small serving of extra noodles (Kae-dama) (RMB3, US$0.48), a small mug of Asahi draft beer (RMB30, US$4.84), and caramel pudding for dessert (RMB16, US$2.58) (a bit of sweetie at the end of every meal is the law).

Chicken broth was garlicky (which I liked), but way way too salty.  Could be a plot to make people order more mugs of beer (I resisted). Noodles were al dente, the way they should be. Caramel pudding was cold and came in a cute little jar that was tough to clean out (a barbarian might employ the digit usually reserved for nose picking to do this). I could hear an exhaust fan somewhere and they had some frantic jazzish music going, maybe to encourage diners not to linger.

Paying nine bucks for a bowl of chain store ramen means you're a sucker. But it's well lit and appears to be clean and gives you that homogenized, globalized, mall-based corporate blah restaurant feel that induces the anomie (am I in Santa Monica or Beijing?) which we all love. And it was better than the other places I mentioned above; of course it should be for the price bump. 

You pay on the way out. No service charge, they take credit cards and were quick with shousi fapiao. Grand total, RMB107 (US$17.25).

Special Sapporo Miso -- two types of pork, bamboo shoots, soft boiled egg half, seaweed

48 cents for 84 grams of extra noodles -- good idea for when you run out of noodles but still have broth

cold pudding, cute tiny portion