Ivan Ramen

It's no surprise that I love ramen. So when I heard that Ivan Orkin was setting up shop in New York City, I was eager to try his food.

Ivan Orkin is an American chef, trained at the Culinary Institute of America, who travelled to Japan and set up one of the top ramen shops in Tokyo. Ivan Ramen has received loads of press and praise and the Clinton Street location I visited in December is considered his Flagship location, though it was his second in New York, following Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop in Gotham West Market.

Walking in the door, the space was bright and inviting. Looking through the menu, there were so many things I was interested in trying  my husband and I had to prioritize before we could order. 

Roast Pork Musubi
We started with the Roast Pork Musubi. Succulent roasted pork on a bit of rice and toasted nori, garnished with salted plum wasabi and roast tomato, these little bites perfectly whet our appetite. Up next was warm Japanese sweet potatoes.  

The Japanese sweet potato was a little starchier than the American variety, and this dish had a nice savory/sweet component. Pecans, maple and miso came together to create a dish that is recognizable, but playful.

Pork Meatballs
Because I had read so much about them, I was extremely eager for our next dish, Pork Meatballs with buttermilk dressing, bulldog sauce and bonito. Again, Ivan takes the ubiquitous meatball and turns it on its head. Crispy, deep-fried meatballs covered in tangy, creamy and sweet sauces, then garnished with the salty shaved bonito. It was brilliant and a combination of flavors I was not expecting.

Of course, we had to order noodles. My husband got the dry style and I ordered the Tokyo Shoyu Ramen. Both dishes were executed perfectly. Noodles chewy and slurp able, garnishes creative and fresh, and broth that was perfectly seasoned and complex. We were in heaven.

From start to finish, it was a pretty flawless meal. If you are a ramen lover like me, Ivan Ramen is not to be missed.

Ivan Ramen
25 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002

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