Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ivan Ramen Slurp @ Gotham West Market 12-04-2013

Location: 600 11th Ave.
Time: 2pm
People: AP and myself

Feelings: The sleek and new gourmet food hall, Gotham West Market features all-star Brooklyn-centric lineup: Little Chef sandwiches from Saltie in Williamsburg, Courtstreet Grocers and the Brooklyn Kitchen and Seamus Mullen's tapas bar, El Colmado. With beautifully designed by AvroKo, Genuine Roadside brings the Americana. There is even a bike shop, Velo. Blue Bottle Coffee is available as well a big, clean bathroom space, which is necessary after your delicious pour-over.

The most anticipated vendor may be Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop. The name Ivan Orkin has become a cult-ish brand in NYC in the past year or so. The dude from Long Island that opened a hit ramen shop in Tokyo, has brought his successful flavors back to NYC.

The menu at Ivan is limited to five ramen dishes ($13) and three rice bowls ($12), plus some drinks ($3) like yuzu lemonade, barley tea and "Ivan Palmer." The ordering system is very easy, and the staff is very courteous. After placing an order at the counter, you wait for them to call your name, and eat wherever you wish. I would recommend eating at their counter since it is easier for your neck to slurp at the higher counter level.

Chili Eggplant Mazemen (smoked chili, soy sauce, vegetable soup, rye noodle) is on a salty and greasy side but interesting nonetheless. Shichimi and shredded scallions mixed with chili and eggplant creates many layers of flavors and textures. The aroma of rye noodles is excellent. AP's Smoked Whitefish Donburi (salmon roe, sweet soy dashi, cucumber, scallion) is also good in portion and fresh.

Ivan's dishes are ideal for ramen and donburi beginners who are not yet ready for strong Japanese umami. For many high rise condos and major ad agencies in the area, no man's land of food, Gotham West Market especially Ivan's ramen is exactly what is needed.

You would love Gotham West Market if you enjoy:
-strong gourmet coffee, beer, cured meats, good produce
-Brooklyn food scene but you don't do Brooklyn
-good gourmet food but you work near Times Square
-Chelsea Market but their bathroom is awful
-work nearby ad agencies
-plaza food hall with younger, hip approach.

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