Ivan Ramen

ivanramen-10041

Their Success . . . When Ivan Orkin opened his first ramen shop in Tokyo, he was entering uncharted territory. In 2007, here was a man from Long Island, New York opening a ramen shop in its birthplace, and no one knew what to expect. After opening, Ivan Ramen only grew in popularity and soon thereafter expanded to a second location in Tokyo. The draw? Ivan Ramen offered a unique take on a classic Japanese noodle dish. From these ventures, Ivan Orkin gained quite some notoriety.

Mr. Orkin has since handed over the reins of his two Japanese ventures to his longtime chef and manager, Hisao Matsumoto. He is now entirely focused on his two New York City Ivan Ramen ventures, the Slurp Shop located in the Gotham West Market and the flagship location at 25 Clinton St. in the East Village.

The East Village location seats about 40 noodle slurpers and its aesthetic is a mélange of clean, refined décor and vivid explosions of powerful color. The space has both traditional table seating as well as two bar areas where diners can saddle up and enjoy Ivan Ramen’s offerings. The larger bar area looks onto the kitchen, which is exposed by a large cutout in the wall space. Above is a colorful mural, depicting diners thoroughly engrossed with their bowls of soup.

The food itself is Ivan Orkin’s own unique spin on the identifiably Japanese dish. Mr. Orkin combines the flavors of his Jewish heritage with the more traditional Japanese palate of taste to create something truly unique. The broth is rich and flavorful, and the noodles offer a decidedly earthier, chewy texture than of that found in more classic ramen spots. The Spicy Red Chili Ramen in particular perfectly combines the flavors of old and new, all the while offering heat that is not overwhelming.

The menu features cold and hot appetizers as well as a number of ramen varieties to choose from. Additionally, ramen add-ons are listed at the bottom of the menu, some of which are traditional and others more adventurous. While the space itself is not overly large, the kitchen is efficient and completes orders quickly. Ramen appears almost as soon as you have finished ordering. The bowls range from $15-$18, slightly expensive as far as ramen in New York City goes, but well worth it for Mr. Orkin’s unique take on the dish.

Take Aways . . . Ivan Ramen offers an experience that is simultaneously familiar and new to New York City ramen fans. The space is clean, inviting, and engaging, offering a great place to eat and hangout with friends, or quickly fill you up and get you out the door. Whatever you choose, be sure to slurp your soup for the full experience.

Ivan Ramen

25 Clinton St.

New York, New York

10002

(646)678-3859

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