Ramen fans have another reason to rejoice—albeit for a little while.

Japanese ramen chain Ippudo is dabbling in some chef-driven innovations  this 2024 with the limited-edition yakiniku ramen kicking things off on Feb. 19, Monday. This ramen is the star attraction of the first roll-out of a thematic series of dishes meant to excite the dine-out rituals of Filipinos this year.

As the name suggests, the noodle dish is a consummate bowl of layers and blends of flavors that takes cues from our longstanding obsession with Japanese cuisine. Developed with Ippudo’s Japanese chef consultant and built on the brand’s creamy 15-hour pork bone broth and thin but firm Hakata-style noodles, the yakiniku ramen is uncomplicated, delicious, and joyful.

The cloudy soup (that eventually turns orange) serves as a bouncy base for the thinly sliced pork amplified by a sumptuous teriyaki and spicy miso sauce for a bit of buzz and heat, enough to get a fine lick of the lips as the noodles unfurl from the end of the chopsticks for a bracing bite.

Ippudo yakiniku ramen and yakiniku bun
Ippudo yakiniku ramen and yakiniku bun

“We wanted to make a play on this type of meat because if you order our core ramens—[you normally get] the torched or braised pork slices,” says brand manager Raiah del Rosario of the yakiniku slices’ aka miso and sweet teriyaki marinade that give the meat a stronger and heartier flavor.

Finally, drops of koyu oil, a fresh nori sheet, and soft-boiled eggs round out the bowl for a memorable finish.

This ramen innovation complements what they call “sidekicks” that “are just as good” and pair well with the soup. The newest on the roster is a soft steamed yakiniku bun that, I found, possesses some depth in flavors—this time using beef slices that dance between sweet, salty, and savory, before a hint of tanginess emerges from the kara mayo (Japanese mayonnaise and mustard).

Can you eat more? Get the trio buns set that features the signature pork and fried chicken buns for a variety of flavors to go around the table.

Even creatures of habit would gladly sink their teeth into these new yet familiar Japanese iterations.

The yakiniku ramen and bun will be available until Apr. 30