Wildly popular Japanese ramen chain Ippudo is moments away from opening its third NYC location. The restaurant — which still draws long waits for its tonkotsu ramen — will be ready starting next Monday, Sept. 11 for lunch at 24 West 46th Street, between 5th and 6th Avenue.
But this newest outpost won’t be like the other two. Here, Ippudo will be primarily serving kasane broth, a layered pork and chicken-based version of ramen, says manager Damien Kinkela. Straight tonkotsu won’t be on the menu at all.
“This kind of has the smooth taste and a milky, savory flavor without the heaviness of a complete pork-based broth because half of it is chicken,” Kinkela says. “It’s lighter and easier to eat in my opinion.”
Also unlike the other locations, the new Ippudo will throw its weight behind lunch business due to the Midtown location. This restaurant — which, at 44 seats, is smaller than the other two — will have a take-out option, and it won’t serve dinner until November, Kinkela says.
Though tonkotsu-chasers might be disappointed to hear Ippudo won’t be serving the broth here, Kinkela says it’s par for the course for the chain to switch things up for new locations. The company has more than 100 outposts in Japan, and many of them have unique aspects to them, he says.
“They’re trying to show there are different sides to what they offer in terms of flavor and style,” he says. Still, the overall vibes will be similar to the locations in the East Village and Hell’s Kitchen, and long waits may diminish with the take-out option.
The newest Ippudo is one of two new locations planned for NYC. The exact location for the second one has not yet been determined, but it will likely land in Brooklyn at the beginning of next year, Kinkela says.
Ippudo will open a bigger menu with shoyu tonkotsu and more appetizers the following Monday, September 18th. Expect dinner and a wine program to come later this fall. Stay tuned for more.