E.A.K. Ramen

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Zagat

2017-05-15

10 New Japanese Restaurants to Try in NYC

E.A.K. Ramen
E.A.K. Ramen bills itself as a “modern” ramen concept, serving Ié-kei soups that combine both tonkotsu (pork bone–based) and shoyu (soy sauce–based) broth. Also unique to E.A.K.’s ramen is the noodles — they are much thicker and straighter than your typical ramen noodles, apparently serving to better complement and soak up the salty, rich broth. Look for it to open at the end of May.

469 6th Ave.; 646-863-2027

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Zagat

2017-05-15

NYC's 34 Most Anticipated Summer Restaurant Openings

Projected opening: Late May
The phonetic pronunciation of IÉ-KEI, the U.S. brand of the 40-shop Japanese chain, will serve Yokohama-style “Ié-kei” ramen. This style of “Ié-kei” ramen combines Fukuoka-style tonkotsu broth with Tokyo-style soy sauce broth, creating a distinct pork and chicken flavor that is creamy and aromatic. Straight, thick noodles will be topped with items like boiled spinach, aji-tama (seasoned boiled egg), chashu (braised pork) and nori (toasted seaweed).

469 Sixth Avenue; 646-863-2027

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Eater NY

2017-05-22

Meet E.A.K. Ramen, the Japanese Chain Trying to Make Waves in the U.S.

New York’s crowded ramen market will have a new player to try starting next week as E.A.K. Ramen — an American outpost of a prolific Japanese chain — makes its debut in the former Kin Shop space in Greenwich Village. It’s part of a larger plan to convince Americans that the restaurant’s style of ramen, called iekei, should be the next big ramen obsession.

The original Japanese name of the chain is Iekei Ramen, named after the style of broth that’s a blend of fatty pork-based tonkotsu and the chicken and soy-based shoyu ramen. But the restaurant at 469 Sixth Avenue, near West 11th Street, and the chain’s first U.S. location in Los Angeles are named E.A.K. Ramen in hopes of making it easier for Americans to pronounce, according to managing partner Jimmy Matsushima. (EAK is the phonetical pronunciation of iekei.) Their goal: 1,000 shops all across the U.S. in the next decade, with eyes on Denver, Nashville, and Detroit next.

Despite New York’s ramen fanaticism, iekei-style ramen is still fairly uncommon. It’s more well-known in Japan, where it was invented in the city Yokohama. The Iekei Ramen company has 40 shops throughout the country, as well as hundreds more shops that franchise their recipe, Matsushima says.

The lowdown on iekei, according to Matsushima and chef Keisuke Ando, is that it’s cleaner than a dense tonkotsu, but not quite as thin as a Tokyo-style shoyu broth. The noodles, here made by Sun Noodle using an in-house recipe, are straight, short, and “very thick,” Matsushima says. “It’s almost quadruple the size” of places like Ichiran,” he says. Thicker noodles are intended to carry the broth in every bite. It’s then topped with chashu, spinach, and nori.

Making the broth is an intensive process, Ando says. Both chicken bones and pork bones are cleaned and then boiled for about two hours. That broth is thrown out. The bones are then added back to the water and boiled again so it reduces. After the fat is removed, more water is added and it’s boiled for hours until it is ready to serve.

In New York, the broth is the base of four ramen listing. Two more ramen options use a vegetable-based broth. Costs range from $14 to $17 a bowl. An appetizer section unique to U.S. locations also offer dishes like buns, gyoza, rice bowls, and salads.

The LA outpost of E.A.K. opened late last year and it’s not yet clear if it’s taken off as the next big ramen craze on the West Coast. But Matsushima and Ando are hoping that eventually, iekei will be ubiquitous. “We want everybody to know iekei style is,” Matsushima says.

E.A.K. Ramen opens on Wednesday, May 31.

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New York Daily News

2017-08-30

Soup-less ramen is real and here's where you can get it

Get it while you can...
* Soup-less ramen sounds like a confusing concept, but you can try it out for yourself for a limited time. E.A.K. Ramen (469 Sixth Ave.) in the West Village is offering Tsukémen — also known as dipping ramen — just for the month of September. For $16, you'll be served two separate bowls. One is filled with chilled chunky noodles and topped with seasoned ajitama eggs, pork chashu, bamboo shoots and nori (seaweed). The other is the hot bonito fish-based broth. You're meant to grab the cold ingredients with your chopsticks and give them a little dip in the broth before enjoying. Also, E.A.K. Ramen will offer ramen bowls for just $5 from Sept. 8 - 10, down from their typical price of $14 to $17. During those days, only beer and ramen will be available.

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Gothamist

2017-05-29

IEKEI-Style Ramen, A Cult Favorite In Japan, Lands In NYC

You might think that, with all the great and varied ramen that's hit this town in the past decade or so, we would have exhausted all of our noodles-in-broth possibilities.

But you would be thinking wrong.

Enter E.A.K. Ramen, which opens this Wednesday in the West Village and brings a ramen style, IEKEI, that's apparently huge in Japan right now (under the name Machida Shoten, E.A.K. operates some 40 stores there and consults for/franchises 400), but hasn't been seen yet in our city. Gothamist was invited to a preview event last week and, based on eating everything they threw at us, we have to agree that E.A.K. offers a truly new and exciting bowl of noodles.

The IEKEI style is basically a combination of Tonkotsu (fatty, milky, pork-based) and Shoyu (soy sauced, clear, chicken-based), so the broth here is both thick and surprisingly nuanced, with a stunning depth and complexity of flavors. That's especially true in the "Zebra" version, which also adds butter and roasted garlic oil into the mix (this dish was amazing, by the way), but is also in evidence in the signature E.A.K. bowl, as well as, to a lesser degree, the Oh So Hot! spicy miso rendition. There will also be vegetarian and vegan versions on the menu.

Other things that make E.A.K. Ramen unique: the noodles are much thicker than you find anywhere else, like udon-thick, but still with that classic egg-noodle chew; the greens are spinach rather than the standard tangle of scallions, which adds a smoothness to the proceedings; and the ajitama—or marinated, soft-boiled egg—is served whole. Plus, the nori is branded, which comes across as charming rather than aggressive.

Speaking of branding, there's a lot of it here, particularly of the social-media-bait variety. The catchphrase "But First, Ramen" is printed on multiple surfaces, as is #ramenlust including, cleverly, on the bottom of your Zebra Ramen bowl. All of this fits neatly with E.A.K.'s unapologetically contemporary sensibility. Traditionalists may dismiss this place at their loss: these E.A.K. chefs can cook.

We were treated to a number of other non-ramen dishes as well, most of which were also quite good. The Ginger Gyoza arrives in a dramatic, sizzling spiral. The Gobo Chips (crisp and incredibly salty) are piled high on a cutting board. An egg is added at the table to your skillet of Fried Rice, followed by much stirring from your server. The Superfood Salad comes in a canoe.

The restaurant itself takes over the former Kin Shop space, and it appears as though the layout is basically the same. All signs point to this place getting crazy popular, so we suggest getting here sooner rather than later. Even in the summer's heat, E.A.K. Ramen is a must for dedicated noodle-heads.

E.A.K. Ramen is located at 469 Sixth Avenue between West 11th and 12th Streets (646-863-2027; eakramen.com)

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Manhattan Digest

2017-05-29

E.A.K. Ramen Opens Up Shop in The West Village This Wednesday

When west meets east, both inside Manhattan and out of it, it generally means a fusion of something delicious and interesting that you need to try. This is exactly what is happening when new spot E.A.K. Ramen will be opening their doors to the public for the first time on Wednesday. Located at 469 6th Avenue, E.A.K. Ramen’s wants to spread their IEKEI style of ramen all over the world. We got a taste of this and so much more this past Thursday night, and you are definitely in for a real treat when this spot opens tomorrow.

What is IEKEI style anyways? It essentially means the marriage between the Tonkotsu style from the West (Kyushu), and Shoyu style from the East (Tokyo). The primary difference between their special ramen and the run of the mill that populates Manhattan is that they use spinach instead of chopped onions as well as having a very distinct, thick broth. Naturally, even reading this got me very excited and that did not dull down as I took my friend there to experience it all.

The location itself rings true to what you would normally see in a ramen shop here in Manhattan. I always prefer locations to be smaller in size as I do feel there is a good amount of intimacy surrounding the entire place, which is exactly what you get with E.A.K. Ramen.

At the tasting, they had four different ramen options to try from. As someone who dares to not stay away from heat, I immediately beelined to their Oh So Hot! option. This came in a pork and chicken broth with pork chashu, seasoned egg, nori, bean sprouts, cabbage, spinach, sesame oil and spicy miso with ground chicken. This was literal heaven in a bowl. I love when you are able to combine so many flavors into one dish, yet none of them outpower each other. You have the great crunch with the cabbage and the pork with the spicy miso making the dish have an intense amount of flavor to it without it going overboard on your palate. The Zebra Ramen (our featured image) was also fantastic, with smaller components such as a roasted umami garlic oil that can be a bit hit for the garlic lover in your life.

Outside of their wonderful ramen options, they also have some great starters that are a must before you dive head into the noodle and broth explosion. We loved their Gobo Chips (thinly sliced Burdock root which was salted to perfection), as well as their outstanding Gyoza, which was pick a part-dunk in your soy sauce fantastic.

Overall, we had a blast at E.A.K. Ramen and hope you do so as well when they open tomorrow! For more information on E.A.K. Ramen, check out their official site.

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The New York Times

2017-05-28

Phil & Anne’s Good Time Lounge Opens in Brooklyn

E.A.K. RAMEN Pronounce the first part of this restaurant’s name as “EAK,” and you approximate the Japanese word for a particular type of ramen bowl characterized by a dense broth and thick noodles. This outlet is the first in New York for the Japan-based global chain of about 400 restaurants. There are five ramens, including some vegetarian options, and a long list of appetizers, including fried chicken, braised pork belly and gyoza dumplings. Expect bao buns, salads and rice dishes, too. (Wednesday): 469 Avenue of the Americas (11th Street), 646-863-2027, eakramen.com.

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