Over the last eight years, New York has been ever so close to getting an outpost of the famously serious and spicy ramen-ya Ichiran from Fukuoka in southern Japan. But, like an ex-lover, the chain has toyed with us all. Now, it looks like a location will actually debut in Manhattan this year "but not in the summer," say the owners, according to Grub Street. The lease has been signed, but there's no word yet on where.
Ichiran, which has been serving ramen since the 1960's, is known for its intense fastidiousness. There's only one soup on the menu, a Hakata-style tonkotsu that can be customized in intensity of flavor and level of chili oil. Bowls are eaten at little library-style booths where talking and phones are strictly forbidden (Instagram fiends, start strategizing stealth moves now), so diners can focus on their slurping. With Mu Ramen, Ivan Ramen, the Ramen Lab, Ippudo, Toto, and now Ichiran, could New York become the U.S. destination for ramen?