The former space of chef Harold Dieterle’s influential Kin Shop will soon be home to a newcomer looking to deliver "a modern take on ramen." EAK Ramen will be opening in the space at 469 Sixth Ave., near West 11th Street, in the West Village, according to the restaurant’s managing director Jimmy Matsushima. It will serve iekei-style ramen — a combination of tonkotsu broth and shoyu broth, which are from opposite sides of Japan. The noodles are also thicker and straighter than the thin, curly kind found at many tonkotsu ramen spots. It will be the restaurant’s second location. Their first one will open in LA next week.
New York’s seen a boom in ramen restaurants for years, not to mention a thirst for Japanese food in general. Imports like udon shop TsuruTonTan and ramen chain Ichiran debuted this year to monster lines and wait times, and the first NYC location of London-based Japanese comfort chain Wagamama, which opens next week, has been highly anticipated, too. Iekei ramen’s already popular in Japan, but it’s been pretty absent from the New York dining scene so far.
EAK is bringing in some chefs from Japan to run the kitchens, Matsushima says. "The extra steps we take in prepping the broth helps make the broth have a clean and smooth taste and doesn’t leave behind the distinctive smell that comes with traditional tonkotsu in Kyushu [where the traditional pork broth was born], which some people do not like," he says. Expect the new noodle shop to open in January.