The chef and owner opens up about optimal at-home slurping and the steps his restaurant is taking to ensure customer safety.
By Seamless staff
A “born and raised Long Island guy,” chef and restaurateur Ivan Orkin opened his first noodle shop in Tokyo before returning home to open his U.S. flagship at 25 Clinton Street on the Lower East Side of New York City. “I got into ramen because I was living in Japan and I wanted to open a business, and I was super geeky about ramen at the time,” shared Orkin. “And now, I’m super geeky about ramen, but I also am super geeky about Japan. I love sharing my excitement about Japan and Japanese food.”
Orkin and his restaurants are widely known for their rye noodles, and while his shops are closed for dine-in due to COVID-19, they’ve taken a number of steps to prioritize customer safety and maintain the quality of their food. Having embraced delivery prior to the pandemic, the team at Ivan Ramen were already pros at packaging food for optimal at-home slurping. Orkin explained they “cook and chill their noodles, and put them in a separate container with a little bit of fat on them, so that rather than sitting in broth and softening and losing all their texture, they’re cooked right at the perfect moment.” He encourages people to heat up their broth as hot as they can and pour it over their noodles. Want to feel like you’re in the shop? Orkin suggests noodle enthusiasts “close their eyes when they’re eating the ramen” and “listen to some Grateful Dead or other fun music.”
And while many businesses have been forced to adapt to new health and safety standards, Orkin believes the restaurant industry had one of the easier transitions. “All we do is worry about cleanliness, about sanitizing things,” he explained.“Long before coronavirus, we had operating procedures to ensure guests won’t get sick. We were in a very good position to take on the extra steps and increase hand-washing and sanitizing.”