Ivan Ramen: Manhattan, New York, NY
So I actually did not even come close to making my reservation for this on the first day I was in New York, but Ivan’s Ramen was on Thrillist as one of the upcoming places for ramen. I had to try it after having eaten at Totto and Ippudo. I ordered the following which composed up the lunch express. It’s honestly one of the best meals, minus drinks. You get to choose an appetizer and a noodle entree for $25. Not too bad if you compared price to price on the individual items off the menu:
- Tokyo Shoyu (soy sauce) ramen
- Pickled Daikon appetizer
- Yuzu lemonade
Pickled Daikon: this was by far one of my most favorite appetizers that I have eaten. Pickled daikon is a very common appetizer but the topping that was used is very unique to SE Asia. Boasting a flavor very similar to the fermented shrimp paste, belacan (blah-chan), the roasted bits are added on top.
- amazing combination of flavor: the roasted topping shrimp bits really complemented the tang of the vinegar
- not overly sour, not overly sweet: great balance
- good quantity: I definitely had enough to munch on and still save some for the ramen. In fact, it was almost hard to finish!
- none really. I could have used more of the shrimp paste topping though.
Tokyo Shoyu Ramen: I always forget that shoyu is essentially just soy sauce. However, it seemed to be right up there in popularity after tonkatsu ramen so I figured it was worth trying.
- great quantity, not skimpy on the toppings or the noodles
- already comes with egg: I added the extras which included grilled tomatoes and egg so I essentially had two eggs with my ramen.
- Chasu was not overly dried. It wasn’t the best but I’ve had worse pieces of meat in ramen.
- salty. I guess that’s what happens when you order a soy-sauce ramen which by itself it is already salty in nature.
- I don’t think the ramen noodles were that great. They weren’t as chewy as I prefer them but they weren’t all that bad in and of itself.
Yuzu Lemonade: I loved this drink. I love yuzu in general. A fruit local to Japan, it’s difficult to find in the US. The taste is similar to that of a grapefruit from what my Japanese friends have told me, but yet it’s not as bitter. Yuzu aroma is also something very pleasant, something that really rejuvenates me. They have an Ivan Palmer which is essentially a Yuzu lemonade with pomegranate juice. I think I’ll have to try that next time.
- good flavor: not overly sour but not overly sweet either.
- very refreshing, definitely cleanses the palate.
While I can’t say that the shoyu ramen was that amazing, the pickled daikon was amazing. It is worth going to Ivan Ramen just for that. That as well as the yuzu lemonade. In summary:
- pickled daikon: ***.85 (3.85 stars)
- Tokyo Shoyu ramen: ***.5 (3.5 stars)
- yuzu lemonade: ***.85 (3.85 stars)
You can find Ivan Ramen in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan. They have a slurp shop further uptown but the original is off Clinton Street:
25 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002
Definitely worth trying!