A Look at the Food at Ivan Ramen, Opening Next Week on the Lower East Side

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Whole-wheat noodles, pickled bean sprouts, and four-cheese mazemen. Photo: Liz Clayman

Ivan Orkin is finally opening Ivan Ramen New York on May 9. The shop, you may know, was first announced two years ago, but that's not to say that the native New Yorker hasn't been extremely busy — he put out a cookbook recounting his improbable rise to noodle fame in Japan, and opened his hit Slurp Shop at Gotham West Market, for starters. Like Orkin's classic shio ramen served with rye-flour noodles, the restaurant is serving a menu of dishes inspired in parts by New York City and Tokyo's food cultures.

The braised tongue dish, for example, amplifies its Lower East Side food cues with a dose of umami, provided by dashi. The four-cheese mazemen, Orkin says, is reminiscent of the one he serves in Tokyo, but smoothed out with unfussy cream cheese. And the tofu "Coney Island," he says, "started off as a really decadent meat dish," a riff on a calorific monstrosity one might expect to see at Nathan's Famous. Orkin even topped it with traditional French's mustard, and eventually became so smitten with the braised miso and mushroom atop the tofu "fries" that he dropped the meat altogether. "It's like a deconstructed Japanese chili dog," he says, "on acid."

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A cold dish of Chinese broccoli with garlic pickled in sweet soy sauce.Photo: Liz Clayman


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Dashi-braised tongue with beef broth and karashi.Photo: Liz Clayman


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The tofu "Coney Island," made with mushrooms, miso, tofu "fries," and many more tasty things.Photo: Liz Clayman


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Check out that "Art of the Slurp" mural by Nathan Fox.Photo: Liz Clayman


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Time to play "Where's the Statue of Liberty?"Photo: Liz Clayman


25 Clinton St., nr. Stanton St.; 646-678-3859

Related: Ivan Ramen New York Opens May 9