A Japanese ramen king returns home to NYC
Noodle soup: It’s hot, it’s filling, it’s downright glorious. And Tokyo’s most unlikely ramen master (a middle-aged Jewish dude from Long Island) has come home to New York with a new shop.
Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop--a small fast-food counter in Hell’s Kitchen’s new Gotham West Market--serves up a simple menu of comforting bowls, prime for curbing seasonal affective disorder.
Choose from staples like shio ramen (a salty chicken broth topped with pork-belly chashu) or shoyu ramen (a soy-sauce base with an excellent vegetarian option) and pile on toppers (soft-boiled eggs, roasted tomatoes, extra pork) as you like. But if you want our personal pick: Go for the chile-eggplant mazeman, a denser, less soupy style that is essentially heaven.
So who is Ivan Ramen, anyway? Well, his name is actually Ivan Orkin and his story is pretty great: Stay-at-home dad shocks Tokyo by opening a massively successful ramen bar. You can read all about it in his new memoir-cookbook hybrid (with an absolutely hilarious forward by Momofuku’s David Chang). Read the backstory or not; the only takeaway you really need is that the man makes a mean soup.
Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop at Gotham West Market, 600 11th Ave. (at 44th St.); 212-582-7942 or ivanramen.com