I know I should be embracing 2016, but I am still reminiscing about one of the best meals I had in 2015. It happened just a few weeks ago on December 29th at Ipuddo in NYC’s East Village. It was one of the meals where I ate so much that I felt like an exercise ball. Know that feeling? The discomfort and contentment of eating too much of a good thing? It’s probably one of the reasons so many of us set New Year resolutions to detox and cleanse.
Anyway, back to my glorious meal. My sister-in-law, Dahlia, and her partner, are NY locals and expertly instructed Omar and I to arrive at Ipuddo promptly at 5:30pm for my birthday treat. It was a Tuesday night and the place was already PACKED. No worries, we expected a wait so we headed to the bar for drinks. I had the Hakata, a tart and refreshing cocktail of sake, gin, and grapefruit juice. I did my best to sip slowly, heeding the warning from Dahlia not to fill up on cocktails.
After about an hour, the four of us were seated at a cozy little booth.
“Appetizers! We have to get the pork buns.” instructed Dahlia.
Done. 3 orders. We also ordered the shishito peppers, agedashi tofu (for you mom!), and the Ipuddo salad. That’s 6 appetizers, 4 people, BEFORE, the dinner order. Birthday dinner indeed.
The pork buns were insane. Soft, fluffy, buns filled with sweet pork, with just a hint of heat. It took me 8 seconds to eat my portion. In retrospect, I should have savored these a bit longer. In the heat of the moment, I was too concerned about getting a taste of the other apps. The agedashi tofu—silky and perfectly coated with just the slightest crispiness, was delectable. I could have gone home happy after the appetizers, but this is a story of glutton.
After our appetizers, the infamous Tonkatsu was served. An umami bomb. The broth is rich and almost creamy, topped with slices of pork, a pinch of scallions, and a touch of chili. Of course, no ramen is complete without the egg, and Ippuddo offers a choice of poached or soft boiled. Hot soup on a cold day. Does it get any better?
I hardly have words for this broth. It.was.so.good.
I was so, so, tempted by the black sesame ice cream for dessert, but I was tooooooo full! I couldn’t pull the trigger on dessert. After all that food, all I could think about was getting home and getting into my cozy elastic waist band pajamas. In fact, I found myself in bed before 10pm with a happy belly, a warm heart, a year older, and just about ready to tackle 2016.
What were your favorite meals in 2015?