One of the things I consider when finding a place to eat at aside from serving good food is the story behind the food. Ivan Ramen’s story is interesting because it is successful attempt of a gaijin (i.e. foreigner) to make really, really, really good ramen.
I read Ivan Orkin’s story in his cookbook memoir of sorts, Ivan Ramen, so when I knew we were headed to NYC. Ivan Ramen was on my to-eat list, especially that the weather was nippy, one perfect for a bowl of hot ramen.
Ivan Ramen’s Slurp Shop is inside the Gotham West Market, which is a collective of artisenal food shops. Unfortunately, I have only had stomach space for ramen, so please don’t ask me about the other shops in the market.
My friend and I both ordered a bowl of the garlic mazemen, which is not your traditional bowl of ramen with noodles swimming in broth. The Ivan Ramen garlic mazemen’s broth was much more concentrated and packed with the intended garlic punch. You could actually kill a vampire with one release of garlic mazemen breath.
What I loved about Ivan’s ramen was the noodles. I’ve never had this kind of noodles with this mouth feel. It was different from the usual. But done perfect: al dente and nicely slippery when slurped (Yes, you must schhhhluuuurrrp your ramen noodles).
You can make your ramen “fully loaded” (which we did) to add an extra slice of chashu (pork belly), egg and roasted tomato for an additional $5.
We also ordered a bowl of smoked white fish donburi, which we hardly touched since we were just too full from the garlic mazemen bowls. But we each took a spoonful and the dish was light and perfect for a summer’s day, rather than for cold days like the one we had.
Good thing that I could walk off all that carbs after as you do walk in NYC.
All in all Ivan Ramen was a great experience. It wasn’t your traditional ramen, so perfect spin by a gaijin. He nailed the noodles and the broth on the head, so it was more than enough to satisfy my curiosity.
The downside of Ivan Ramen is that they don’t have any take away containers. So better make sure you finish your bowl because you won’t be able to bring leftovers home. It makes me sad that all leftover would be chucked into the trash bin.
Can’t they do something about this?
Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop
inside Gotham West Market
600 11th Ave
between 44th St & 45th St in Hell’s Kitchen, Midtown West
New York, NY 10036
+1 (212) 582-7942
Open 1130AM to 10PM