Ivan Ramen in New York

Our First Visit to Ivan Ramen in New York City

In NYC, Restaurants by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch55 Comments

We didn’t make it to Ivan Ramen Tokyo, so we were excited for our first meal at the Ivan Ramen New York City location.

We didn't make it to Ivan Ramen in Tokyo, so we were excited for our first meal at the Ivan Ramen New York City location.

Ramen Art, Manga Style, at Ivan Ramen New York City

You could say that we have a thing for ramen.

We love this type of soup loaded with savory flavors and hearty noodles. We have our favorite local spots, each serving their unique version, but none of them compare to ramen in Japan. We loved Tokyo’s Ramen Street and ate there twice in one week, but sadly, we didn’t make it to either Ivan Ramen or Ivan Ramen Plus. We wanted to go to both of  CIA-trained Ivan Orkin’s locations in the Tokyo outskirts, but we simply ran out of time.

But hey, we live just a couple hours from New York where, through the magical powers of globalization, Orkin recently opened two ramen joints in NYC. After a long afternoon in Flushing, we easily and happily hightailed it for a late dinner at the new flagship location in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Ivan Ramen New York

The downtown restaurant has tables both inside and outside, but we opted for spots at the bar, settling in among the dining hipsters. To get to the bar, we passed colorful walls and fun manga designs. Just like real estate, there’s something to be said for location when it comes to dining. Having a view of the kitchen action is where we chose to be for our first meal at Ivan Ramen.

Bar Seats at Ivan Ramen New York City

Bar Seats at Ivan Ramen New York City – We Sat Here

Outside Dining at Ivan Ramen New York City

Outside Dining at Ivan Ramen New York City – We Didn’t Sit Here.

Tasting Tip: Ivan Ramen NYC is open until midnight. Since we arrived on the later side of the evening, there was absolutely no wait for a table or a bar stool.

Pickled Daikon

The menu is set up with four sections – cold, crisp, hot and ramen. We ordered a couple small cold dishes to prep our taste buds for the ramen yet to come. The Pickled Daikon featured expertly cut radish strands smothered with scallop chili oil and bits of dried shrimp, all for $6.50. The bright and flavorful daikon harmonized with the crunchy, subtly spicy sauce. Our chop sticks nearly collided as we reached for every bite.

Cold Dish - Pickled Daikon XO with Dried Shrimp and Scallop Chili Oil at Ivan Ramen New York City

Cold Dish – Pickled Daikon XO with Dried Shrimp and Scallop Chili Oil

1000 Year Deviled Egg

The 1000 Year Deviled Egg was a soft counterbalance to the crunchy daikon dish. Perfect for sharing and just $3.50, these pretty eggs were amped up with umami flavors of bonito and tomato powder. We each ate our half of the richly prepared egg in just a few bites, marveling at the Japanese twist on the deviled egg.

Cold Dish - 1000 Year Old Deviled Egg - Hen Egg and Preserved Duck Egg with Tomato Bonito at Ivan Ramen New York City

Cold Dish – 1000 Year Old Deviled Egg – Hen Egg and Preserved Duck Egg with Tomato Bonito

Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen

We each got our own bowl of ramen. Daryl ordered the signature Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen for $15 and then took it to the next level by getting it ‘loaded’ with an egg, extra pork chasu and roast tomato. The hearty, brothless noodles were bathed by buttery sesame paste and rich egg yolk, and the dish was delicately balanced by the bright concentrated tomato halves.

Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen Ramen with Tonkotsu Broth, Pork Chashu and Whole Wheat Noodles - Fully Loaded at Ivan Ramen New York City

Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen Ramen with Tonkotsu Broth, Pork Chashu and Whole Wheat Noodles – Fully Loaded

Spicy Red Chili Ramen

Mindi ordered the Spicy Red Chili Ramen for $14. The server warned that this soup is delicious yet very spicy. People often warn about heat levels even when the food is barely seasoned at all, but this time the warning was actually valid. Each incendiary bite was loaded with both chili paste and chili oil. Our one complaint was that the chili overpowered other ingredients like the smashed egg and the thin rye noodles. However, for those who like hot food, this bowl is a fun one-off hell broth experience.

Spicy Red Chili Ramen with Dashi and Chicken Broth, Minced Pork, Smashed Egg and Rye Noodles at Ivan Ramen New York City

Spicy Red Chili Ramen with Dashi and Chicken Broth, Minced Pork, Smashed Egg and Rye Noodles

Drinks

Ramen goes well with beer. Mindi complied by drinking a malty yet fruity Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale from Kiuchi Brewery. Daryl diverged and drank Crispin cider.

As we sat at Ivan Ramen New York City, slurping our ramen and sipping our beverages, we had flashbacks of eating ramen in Japan.  To us, eating ramen in Japan is the ultimate ramen experience. 6,800 miles is a bit far to go for a bowl of soup, even for us. Thankfully, Ivan Ramen has brought some Japanese ramen magic back to New York.

Ivan Ramen has multiple locations. We prefer the location at 25 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002, United States.


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Comments

  1. Looks very interesting. Perhaps the best Asian fusion restaurant I’ve ever eaten at was in Dusseldorf, there was a line right around the block to get to it, and the presentation was very similar to this.

    1. Author

      A long line is always a good sign for restaurants, for sure.

  2. As usual, mouth watering pictures. Loving the deviled egg. Thanks for another amazing tip 🙂
    Sandra @ Tripper recently posted…Kitli kultureMy Profile

    1. Author

      You should definitely try ramen again. It can be pretty special if done right

  3. That Triple Pork Triple Garlic Mazemen sounds amazing! I have been to a great ramen spot in Midtown East but had not heard about Ivan Ramen. The meals there look heavenly and this place is now on my list of spots to hit the next time I’m home.
    Dave Cole recently posted…Memorable Meals on the RoadMy Profile

    1. Author

      We definitely recommend that you add Ivan Ramen to your list for an inexpensive yet delicious meal.

    1. Author

      No worries – you can go to Ivan Ramen when you are next in NYC.

    1. Author

      We went to Ivan Ramen at 11 pm, several hours after we left you. We were able to rally since we knew it was our only chance to eat at Ivan Ramen on this trip. You will definitely have to check it out when you’re back in town!

  4. That spicy chili ramen looks INSANE….I’m all for hot food but not sure I could have handled that one. I’m sad to have missed the ramen festival in San Francisco this past weekend, but luckily there are so many ramen shops around these days that I can get my fix any ol’ time. Your experience sounds delicious!
    Jenny | A Thing For Wor(l)ds recently posted…The BEST of Bilbao, SpainMy Profile

    1. Author

      San Francisco must have excellent ramen, festival or no festival. That being said, you should check out Ivan Ramen when you’re in New York or Tokyo.

  5. I still can’t decide whether globalisation is a good thing or not. Yes sure it brings you food from around the world on your doorstep but i think it make us take too many things for granted and maybe remove some of the wow of experiences abroad. Plus i gotta say, i just hate seeing McDonalds and other huge chain restaurants everywhere i go. When i find a city without one, i’m actually happy. Ok rant’s over, your article was actually quite yummy and does make me crave some Asian food, so i guess that’s a well written piece 🙂
    Jameela (Diary of a Serial Expat) recently posted…10 Tips to Spot an ExpatMy Profile

    1. Author

      We have mixed feelings about globalization too. Mostly we don’t like it. In this case, we’re okay with it since Tokyo is a long way to go for a bowl of ramen!

    1. Author

      In this case, the rumors are true. You should definitely check out Ivan Ramen when you can.

  6. In Austria we don´t have Ramen but when I was sailing a year with American relatives Ramen saved my life. It was the only thing I could eat at days when we had rough sea. 😀
    Ivan Ramen in New York looks like a great place. I like the art inside.
    Christina recently posted…Ghent: World Class Culture and CuisineMy Profile

    1. Author

      Hop on the subway and get yourself a bowl of ramen. Stat!

    1. Author

      Thanks Kristin! Yes, let’s go to Mitsuwa soon. Photos there should be even better since we now have a DSLR camera.

  7. Up until now, I wasn’t sure that Ramen was anything more than those dehydrated styrofoam-like bricks wrapped in a brightly colored plastic. After seeing your photos that made my mouth water, I don’t think I could ever go back to eating that stuff again! I’ll be on the search for a Ramen place in Chicago. Any recs?

    1. Author

      According to Serious Eats, the best ramen in Chicago in 2013 was actually in the suburbs. Misoya in Mt. Prospect. We think that you should go on a ramen tour and let us know what you like best for when we go back to Chicago, which will hopefully be sooner than later.

    1. Author

      We love Japanese food too. Lucky for us, it’s readily available in Philadelphia, though not as good as in Japan.

    1. Author

      The art and the food food reminded us of Tokyo, in a good way.

    1. Author

      Make sure you go to the downtown location. We liked that one much better.

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