Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop at Gotham West
Ivan Ramen, one of the city's most-hyped restaurants, has set up shop inside Gotham West Market. They call it the Slurp Shop. It's named after Ivan Orkin, a self-described "Jewish Kid from Long Island" who found success opening a ramen shop in Japan.
Our story begins at Ivan's sleek stainless steel counter where "slurping" is not only welcomed, it's encouraged amongst ramen afficionados. But that's where the hype ends and reality quickly sets in.
My bowl of Shoyu Ramen broke Ivan's cardinal rule, serve it hot. My bowl, on the smallish side, was luke warm at best. The broth, which tasted mostly of soy sauce, lacked any real depth. Although, I did like the tangle of rye noodles at the bottom of the bowl. Pork Chashu, braised pork belly, was so fatty it left a greasy aftertaste long after I had left the counter. Even the stewed tomatoes turned out to be tasteless. That got me stewing, wondering if we'd all been had. At $17 a bowl, fully loaded, this could not possibly be all there is?
Surely the self-proclaimed "foodies" couldn't have all be wrong. Maybe it was just a bad day. But after this experience I doubt there will be another. Maybe for now it's best to leave the Ivan myth just that - a myth.
Review By: Thomas Rafael