Spell Saab

Funny story a couple of weeks back when Jim and I were in Singapore for a night and we were deciding where to have dinner, my Trip Advisor app kept saying Ippudo. Being a know-it-all, I told Jim that there was already an Ippudo in Manila so we should eat at a place we didn’t have back home. When we got back I realized I was thinking of a different ramen place so I was kicking myself for not going to the restaurant while we were in Singapore. But I guess everything really happens for a reason. 2 nights ago, I was invited to a private tasting event for a new restaurant just about to open on our shores: Japan’s highly acclaimed ramen emporium, Ippudo!

I got there at half past 7 and met with the rest of the family. We were very excited. I’m not ramen-crazy like Maxx but I appreciate all kinds of good food.



We were served guacamole and chips while waiting for the program to start.


We said hello to our friend Mike Concepcion, son of John Concepcion who is responsible for bringing Ippudo to the Philippines! They are also behind the amazing katsu place Yabu.


Also trying out the new ramen place was cute couple, model Georgia Schulze and Azkal Armand del Rosario!


When Maxx introduced us (for the nth time haha), Georgia said “hey, I’ve met you before!” and what little social skills I had went flying out the window when I responded with “I see you in magazines.” WHY. But yes, I used to see her all the time in my Candy and Seventeen magazines back in high school.

We were ushered back outside to catch the start of the program. There were 5 huge drums and I got so excited! 5 men entered and started an amazing drum routine with matching shouting. Somehow it sounded very Asian. I know, ang labo ng description ko. But I really enjoyed it!



Mari Jasmine was the evening’s host. She is such a cute girl with an Aussie accent and we were very surprised when she started speaking in fluent Japanese! Apparently, she spent the first 5 years of her life in Japan! Jim was very impressed so I flashed him the rock on my finger. LOL.


John Concepcion gave the opening remarks. He is such a good speaker! He said Yabu was actually inspired by Ippudo so he’s very happy to be bringing his favorite restaurant to the Philippines!


We were then introduced to Japan’s “Ramen King” Shigemi Kawahara – founder of Ippudo. He earned the title of Ramen King and a place in the Ramen Hall of Fame after three consecutive first place wins on a Japanese television program where ramen mavens compete to create the best ramen.


We witnessed “Kagami-Biraki” or sake barrel breaking ceremony where SM vice president Steven Tan, John Concepcion, a representative from the Japanese embassy (at least that’s what I heard, ack, somebody correct me if I’m wrong!!), and Shigemi all broke the lid of a barrel full of sake and toasted to their partnership!



Then they hung the “noren” to officially open the restaurant!



Finally, we get to taste the food yayyy!



They provided a handy guide on how to enjoy ramen



They served each of us all the side dishes on their menu and they were all yummy! This one is the Goma Q or Japanese cucumber


Dashimaki Tamago


Curry Cheese Harumaki – I LOVED THIS


Ippudo Hakata-style Gyoza


And my ultimate favorite out of everything I tasted that night – the Ippudo pork buns. I can practically eat a hundred of these in one sitting.




Japanese beer to wash it all down


I chose the spiciest ramen Karaka-Men (rightmost on the menu above) with hard noodles


Happy tummies!


Writer Erica Paredes was sitting next to us enjoying her own bowl of ramen!


Maxx was crushing extra garlic on her ramen when somebody offered to do it for her. It was Shigemi himself! Photo oppp!


Shigemi Kawahara is best known for turning the Hakata-style, tonkotsu (pork-based) ramen into the delicate creamy version that earned Ippudo its national acclaim. The first-ever Ippudo was in his hometown of Fukuoka City, Kyushu and it only seated 10 people. Today, Ippudo has about 120 branches worldwide and they serve around 45,000 customers daily.


My babies are growing up so fast!


Mama is in Hong Kong right now on vacation with her friends. Hi mama!!!! We miss you!!


Fun time! Will definitely go back! There are other items on the menu I’d like to try like the classic Ippudo rice dishes, the Garlic Teppan Tonkotsu rice and Hakata Meshi. I’m sure there will be a long line though haha!


Ippudo Philippines is located at the 3rd floor of Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall. It officially opens on September 10 and will operate from 10AM-10PM daily. Learn more about Ippudo Philippines by visiting their website www.ippudoph.com. You can tag them on Twitter/Instagram via @ippudoph!

September 7, 2014



  1. Reply


    September 9, 2014

    georgia schulze, mikaela lagdameo, amanda griffin… my favorite candy models. hahaha. nall of them may families na. time flies!!!

    saab can you share the price range naman dyan. affordable ba? thank you :)

    • Reply


      September 9, 2014

      IKR?! Hahaha! Oh I’m so sorry I am not too sure about the price since it was their treat. You may tweet them @ippudoph or go to their website for more info though :)

  2. Reply


    September 9, 2014

    ” …Jim was very impressed so I flashed him the rock on my finger…” – love this! I can only imagine how you did it. Hahaha! Been on the look out for a good ramen since my sister and I got back from Japan. Will try this. :)

    • Reply


      September 9, 2014

      Hahahaha psycho lang :p Yayy hope you enjoy!

  3. Reply

    Katherine Aguas

    September 9, 2014

    Your photos made me hungry! I am scared of the queue when it opens tomorrow but hopefully I get to try this. Nice outfit btw :)

    • Reply


      September 9, 2014

      Thank you!:D Good luck tomorrow!!

  4. Reply


    September 9, 2014

    Your outfit!!! Your top and skirt is <3

    • Reply


      September 9, 2014

      I’m glad you like my outfit! I got the top from Topman and I always have to wear it with a high waist skirt because can’t button all the way down because of ze hips hehehe

  5. Reply


    September 9, 2014

    Ahhh, I can only imagine Ippudo’s delicious foods :( now, I’m hungry Ate Saab hahaha
    soo cute and pretty as always!!! Sana mag open din sila ng branch ng Yabu at Ippudo dito sa Cebu <3

    • Reply


      September 10, 2014

      Sorry I made you hungry hehehe

  6. Reply

    Cherry Gasic

    September 10, 2014

    Hi saab! I just have to ask a question. What laptop do you use?

    • Reply


      September 10, 2014

      13″ Macbook Air

  7. Reply


    September 19, 2014

    I’ve been there last week. I saw your instagram posts so I decided to go and try. I tried Shiromaru Motaoji upgraded to Shiromaru Special. Medyo pricey but it’s worth it. Actually, it’s the best ramen I’ve ever tasted. Worth the price and worth the wait. :)

    • Reply


      September 23, 2014

      Did you try the pork buns?? To die for!!

  8. Reply


    September 19, 2014

    “Jim was very impressed so I flashed him the rock on my finger.” Girrrl, I’ll prolly do the same LOL

    • Reply


      September 23, 2014

      Hahahaha you get me!!

  9. Reply


    September 20, 2014

    Of all Ippudo blogs i’ve read, yours was the most detailed and I felt like I was there during the opening. You’re really a great blogger. Keep it up :)

    • Reply


      September 23, 2014

      Thank you!!

  10. Reply

    Rinna Ceria

    January 20, 2015

    Hi! I am looking for a supplier of Kagami Biraki Sake in google right now. It so happen your blog appears as one of the result. Kindly help me please, do you have any idea on where does Ippudo got their Kagami Biraki Sake? Your response is such a big help. Thank you so much!!

    • Reply


      January 28, 2015

      Hi, sorry but I have no idea!