Have I ever mentioned I love food? I love noodles and ramen and pasta the most? Well, I do. Yesterday before night school I went to Ippai Fusion Japanese Cusine. And of course, we ate ramen. I quite liked it. Obvious choice for me if I went to a Japanese restaurant and not eating sushi or sashimi.
We arrived after 5:30pm. It was totally empty which was expected since it’s not even dinner time yet. Sometimes, its just so nice to sit in an empty restaurant. No noise, no distractions. I have been here before and every time I arrive there, it’s basically more than half empty. Makes me question how this restaurant can last so long, obviously I am going there at the wrong hour of the day.
The décor reminds me of something very modern and yet with a Japanese twist. Very clean lines while it was brightly lit from the daylight coming from the windows. They played light orchestral game music. Well, sounded like it came from a game or probably a TV show. It suited the place quite well.
The music and brightly lit place made the restaurant seem very welcoming and friendly . Exactly like the service. There was only one waitress on duty, but enough for that time of day. She was very nice and helpful with ordering our food.
There was so much on the menu, we decided only to stick to the ramen menu. There was a choice to put whatever you like in your bowl of ramen, but the place mat menu also showed the set ramens to choose from. Honestly, the choose your own adventure food is not for me. I believe that a chef should be cooking and deciding what goes well together. If I want to added something, well that’s a different story.
The first thing that spotted our eye was the Extreme Spicy Soup Ramen. It had 5 levels of spiciness to choose from. LOLO and I are super spicy lovers. If my stomach didn’t act up that day, I would of chosen something spicy as well. We asked the waitress about the different levels of spiciness and she mentioned to start from level 1 and work our way up would be the best as she did not know how spicy we can take our food. LOLO decided to start on level 2 and work his way up from there. I on the other hand, just picked a Soy Sauce Soup Ramen. A simple yet full of meat one per the menu.
Normally eating in Markham at Asian restaurants I find the soup bowl sizes vary from place to place and none of them are quite large and sometimes places leave you slightly hungry. When the food arrived, the bowls of ramen were huge!
As mentioned, LOLO had the Extreme Spicy Soup Ramen at a spiciness of level 2. His soup was really spicy. Soup bases or noodle soups are just as important as the taste of the noodles. The soup was amazingly spicy. He also had shrimp tempura in his bowl but he let it go soggy before eating it, so we don’t know how good the crispiness of the tempura is. However, he constantly kept telling me how good his ramen noodles are.
My ramen was the Soy Sauce soup Ramen. The soup base was kind of bland but with hints of miso and soy sauce, just as I expected. I wanted to eat a little more bland that day. My bowl came with chashu, but I think it was Japanese styled because it definitely did not taste like the Chinese kind. It was quite good.
The ramen noodle on the other hand was quite good and different. The type of noodle for both our dishes are the same, but I did kind of expecting it coming from a package of instant noodles. Don’t ask why. My expectations were low. However both soup bowls were packed with toppings, noodles and enough soup. They definitely had the balance of the 3 correct. Sometime my soup noodles had way too much soup to give the impression that it has a lot of stuff in the bowl, but this place is the real deal. I thoroughly enjoyed the ramen itself.
However, the cost of each bowl is a little on the high end – $10 to $12. There are other items on the menu that was not ramen and they are cheaper – like lobster sashimi was only $25. That is a very good price and would be trying out on a later date.
At the end of the day, ippai is a pretty decent restaurant. I would probably go there more often if it was not that expensive. This place would be a “once in a while” restaurant in my books. I cannot shell out $10 for each of my meals. It’s way too expensive. I will definitely go back and try out the other items on their list.
Ippai Fusion Japanese Cuisine
8865 Woodbine Avenue, Markham ON
Phone: (905) 470-1688
Intersection: Woodbine Ave / Apple Creek Blvd