Ichiran, a popular ramen chain in Japan has finally made its way to the US. Ichiran is known world-wide for their specialty in Tonkotsu, which features a pork based broth. They also make their own ramen noodles & specialty spicy powder. Mostly located in Japan, they also have a branch in Hong Kong and recently opened their first US location in NY. At the Brooklyn location, there are two different types of seating.
You have the option of solo booth seating or a table seating, which is more suitable for groups. What’s unique about Ichiran is their solo booths, which is the experience that you should want to try. When you first walk in, there is an electronic seating chart; the green light shows the vacancy of the seats. Once you take a seat there is a paper order form with the different customizable options for your ramen. Once filled out, the waiter will reach into your booth and take the form, confirming the order with minimal interaction.
Delicious Tonkotsu ramen; the broth is incredible! This is the only type of ramen they offer and it’s their specialty. You can customize the richness of the broth & firmness of the noodles. Keep in mind if you add topping (Tonkotsu egg, mushroom, and kae-dama for extra noodles), you’ll be paying a slight premium. The broth itself is the “cleanest” or rather “clearest” of all the tonkotsu that we’ve tried. So good that we drank all the soup once we finished the ramen noodles! This bowl definitely stands on its own as unique and some of the best Tonkotsu we have had. A must try for any ramen lover in our opinion!
We opted for the recently launched Matcha beer, which is only offered at NY location, to pair with our ramen. It was unique and tasted great, especially if you love matcha. The Hot matcha tea was really good too. We also ordered the matcha tofu pudding for dessert which we loved as it was silky smooth. It came with a small package of matcha syrup to drizzle on top.
Due to Ichiran’s popularity in Japan, long lines were common the first couple of weeks. We arrived at 11am (right at opening) on a Sunday and there were no lines. Maybe the excitement has died down a little, but we still would suggest arriving earlier rather than later. Ichiran definitely offers a premium experience and should be tried at least once to taste how Tonkotsu should be served!