Ippudo Shojin Vegetarian Ramen, Ippudo Sydney

I love my Japanese food, and I love my ramen.

Picture this: my Japan trip, circa 2008. Our flight just arrived in Osaka from Australia. It was 5 degrees C outside, almost 9pm, raining cats and dogs, and we were starving. Starving I tell you (what do you expect from a 9 hour flight on a budget airline?)! Walked around the empty streets of Osaka, the sound of the pachinko machines echoing in the background, when we saw a stream of yellow light coming out of a narrow opened doorway. The smell of broth ushered us in, and we suddenly found ourselves inside a hole in a wall, 2 table ramen restaurant being manned by the happiest noodle-turning, broth bubbling ramen guy on this side of the planet. And the ramen? It was manna from heaven – tonkotsu broth, noodles, boiled egg, chashu (pork slices), nori (seaweed), shinachiku (seasoned bamboo shoots), sesame seeds, and a hint of garlic. H E A V E N.

Tori Shoyu Special: simmered pork belly, roasted seaweed, flavoured black mushroom and bamboo shoots, spring onions.

Back home in Australia, my love for ramen continues and one of my favourite spots to get my ramen fix is Ippudo. Have you tried their ramen? And pork buns? And sake-based cocktails? No? Do yourself a favour – grab a spot now and order these three pronto. These are my go-to meal fix especially when I’m feeling nostalgic about my Japan trip. Thanks to Narisa from SD Marketing and Ippudo, I received a very generous invitation to try out their SHOJIN Vegetarian ramen – a lightly brothed soup with whole grain noodles, served with deep fried vegetable kakiage (fried vegetable bits – carrots, corn, etc) and soy protein wrapped in seaweed. A quick search on the Ippudo website showed me that:

The term “SHOJIN” is not just a vegetarian ramen, but one that adheres to strict Buddhist principles. Its aim is to bring out the original flavours of the ingredients and is a cuisine of devotion to details.

Shojin Vegetarian Ramen

Ippudo Sydney bar

We were also treated to an array of Ippudo’s ‘bests': Pork Bun, Unagi Gohan (grilled eel on rice), and the uber drinks Tokyo Sunrise (sake, grapefruit juice, lychee juice, grenadine), Ippudo Ginjo (Ippudo original house sake), and Ginrei Umeshu on the rocks (plum wine – YUM!).

Thanks to SD Marketing and Ippudo Sydney for the invitation and the warm welcome, dinner, and drinks. Sugarlace & guests dined as guests of Ippudo Sydney. Special thanks to the Ippudo crew especially Mark who looked after us (and our other little guest, baby Talya!).

Ippudo Ginjo original house sake

Tokyo Sunrise: sake, grapefruit juice, lychee juice, grenadine

Ginrei Umeshu on the rocks: plum wine

Ippudo Pork Buns: steamed bun with braised pork and original Ippudo sauce.

Unagi Gohan: grilled eel on rice

Tori Shoyu Ramen toppings

Shojin Vegetarian Ramen broth & noodles

Shojin vegetable toppings

Ippudo Sydney
Address: Shop 5021, Level 5, Westfield Shopping Centre/188 Pitt Street Sydney Australia, 2000
Phone:(02) 8078 7020

Barmuda, Newtown

Sour cherry jam and ricotta on toast

What’s your agenda for the weekend?

Ours is a standing one: exercise (gym, run or cycle), brunch, markets, meet with friends, drinks, home. You won’t find be at home the whole day on weekends. I’m usually out and about, exploring this wonderful city and just enjoying everything it has to offer.

As we grew older, we soon realised that we’ve moved from being evening owls to morning people. No longer can I stay up until 2am partying – my ideal Friday evening is in bed by 10pm the latest, in my pajamas, underneath the doona. Make up removed, teeth brushed, face washed, aromatherapy candle burning to lull me slowly to sleep. Because of our early evenings, we usually pack as much as we can during the day. Mornings at our household start early, usually around 7am – 7.30am on weekends.

Brunch usually follows after our morning exercise. It’s the only time we indulge ourselves – whats on the menu? Pancakes, french toast with crispy bacon, big breakfast, muesli and some wonderful, wonderful coffee? Yes please!

We also have our usual go-to cafes. Sydney is littered with amazing cafes, you just need to get to know them. From Petersham, to Surry Hills, Newtown, Redfern, Lane Cove and all the way to Parramatta and beyond.

Barmuda is one of our favourite, reliable cafes where there’s plenty of seating, the food is affordable and delicious, their scrambled eggs is one of Sydney’s best, and the house blend coffee is spot on. The service is fast and we always leave feeling full and contented, without that awful feeling that you’ve just spent your week’s worth of meals in just one breakfast. Oh, because it’s in my favourite suburb in Sydney (yay Newtown!), we usually do a quick lap around King Street, checking out the quirky shops, browse around the markets when it’s on, and just people-watch. Newtown, after all, has its own quirky, interesting and yet lovable character.

Flat white & cappuccino

Sour cherry jam and ricotta on toast

Planet Newtown: free range eggs, bacon, sausage, balsamic and rosemary mushrooms, roasted tomatoes and toast


Potato stack: crispy potato cakes with scrambled eggs, roasted tomatoes, grilled eggplant, rocket and tomato relish




283 Australia St Newtown