It's truly a wonderful time to be a ramen lover in New York City, from the old guard like Momofuku and Ippudo, to more casual neighborhood spots like Hide-Chan and Misoya. And then there are the innovators, the line pushers, the ones who want to make something delicious and comforting...but maybe a little off the wall. Square in the middle of that crowd you have Ivan Orkin, who made his NYC debut offering Chili Eggplant and Four Cheese mazemen-style ramens. Now he's back at it, debuting a new Weekend Brunch and Weekday Breakfast menu at his Gotham West Market Slurp Shop that includes an 8AM Ramen, among other early morning-type creations.
The breakfast ramen ($13), which is one of five items available seven days a week, boasts a rich dashi and cheddar fondue for its broth, which playfully takes on the color of a perfectly oozy egg yolk. The thick, whole wheat noodles offer a chewy heft, while strips New Jersey staple Taylor Ham and scallion omelet stand in for a traditional ham-and-eggs breakfast. It's not the kind of dish you'll want to eat before an important meeting or any other environment where you'll be expected at full attention, but it's a hungover quasher if ever we've tasted one.
While the hearty bowl of noodles was the expected showstopper, it's the Breakfast Buns (2 for $8) and Sweet Silken Tofu ($7) that were the sleeper hit of a press preview to debut the new items. Inside the sweet, fluffy buns are nestled slices of Japanese sausage, a coarsely ground mix of salty pork and spices, plus more of the scallion omelet and a healthy slathering of yuzu hollandaise. By contrast, the tofu is a relatively healthy option despite being doused in condensed milk and a candied pecan and oat crumble. The slippery blocks of tofu are deliciously creamy, as are the slices of banana, both of which get an extra bit of bite from the ginger infused into the milk.
The below menu will be available Saturdays and Sundays from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., with the Sweet Silken Tofu, Breakfast Buns, 8AM Ramen, Farm Egg & Soft Tofu Scramble and The American available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.