Marvel x Ippudo Avengers Interactive Ramen Dinner
This past weekend, I realized that dreams do come true when we got to attend the Marvel x Ippudo The Avengers Interactive Ramen Dinner. The most beloved ramen restaurant in New York joined forces with Marvel Comics to officially sponsor a meal and drink pairing (c/o Nanbu Bijin Sake & Asahi Beer) inspired by our beloved Avengers heroes. This event was hosted at Ippudo’s Hell’s Kitchen location (321 West 51st Street) on their secret second floor Ramen Bar on 2/25 – 2/26, limited to 40 seats per day.
The Marvel x Ippudo event was the brain child of Ippudo’s Ramen Master, Fumihiro Kanegae, and Marvel’s SVP of Creative & Creator Development, C.B. Cebulski. Kanegae leads the charge in making the iconic Ippudo ramen available all over the world and even has a super heroic personal motto: “No ramen eaters left behind.” Marvel SVP Cebulski is also a titan in the food world, having hosted his popular Food & Comics panel at top comic cons, writing on his well-known food blog Eataku, and regularly contributing to the highly respected Lucky Peach*. (You can learn more about Lucky Peach in our interview with Co-Founder Peter Meehan)
The Marvel x Ippudo The Avengers Interactive Ramen Dinner consisted of a drink pairing and bowl of ramen compromised of ingredients inspired by each respective hero in the Avengers. The meal was made interactive in that new ingredients were sequentially brought out to patrons to add to their bowls, all accompanied by a related story about the respective hero or the Avengers origin story.
Marvel x Ippudo Menu
When patrons sat down, they were presented with a comic book-styled menu that outlined the 4 movements of the meal. More details on each below:
Aliens Attack New York City!: Pickled Alien Sake
When we sat down, we were immediately poured a glass of the decadent Nanbu Bijin Ruten, made by the sake superhero Kosuke Kuji. We were then served a baby octopus that had been pickled in a sweet and sour brine and served on a cocktail pick to effectively make an alien cocktail. This movement represented an initial attack on New York City.
Avengers Come to the Rescue!: Marvel’s Founding: Ironman I Soup
We were then presented with a bowl of ramen served in a futuristic metallic bowl that reminded me of Captain America’s shield. This bowl contained a 3-year aged Iberico pork-based broth, which represented the founding of Marvel Comics in 1939.
Avengers Come to the Rescue!: Marvel’s Rise: Iron Man II Soup
This Iberico pork-based broth was then blended with an organic chicken soup. This fresher blend represents Marvel’s meteoric rise in popularity throughout the years and its longstanding relevance in pop culture.
Marvel History & Heroes: Iron Man III Soup
Finally, patrons were explained the significance of each ingredient in their bowls. They broke out as follows:
Hulk = Green noodles (signifying gamma radiation)
Black Widow = Single red noodle (her espionage role)
Iron Man = Poached egg (arc reactor)
Captain America = Star-shaped fishcake (his shield)
Thor = Bechamel fried lamb chops (his hammer)
Hawkeye = Seafood and garlic sauce toasts (his arrows)
Patrons were instructed to try the broth as is, then break the poached egg, then try the fried lamb chops, then mix in the seafood and garlic sauce, and finish off the bottom of the bowl with hot sauce.
At the end of the meal, patrons received an exclusive Marvel x Ippudo shirt designed by comic book artist Matt Waite.
In short, the meal was a dynamite meeting of the pop culture minds and I can’t stop thinking about those fried lamb chops. It’s awesome that these pop culture icons are able to experiment with each other in a way that excites everyone about comics and food. Fingers crossed that Marvel x Ippudo team up for a very apropos Jessica Jones meal to honor both the restaurant and show’s homes in Hell’s Kitchen!
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