Huge pots filled with thick, creamy broth have replaced Gaetano’s Flour & Fire’s gas-fired, wood-fired oven. Welcome to Garden City’s newest ramen spot, Kiko Ramen.
Kenny Li, who also owns Iron Poke and Iron Ramen, both in Stony Brook, brings a handful of ramen bowls – miso (traditional and spicy), shoyu, negi, tonkotsu and a vegetarian option – to the area, as well as a variety of rice bowls and a few appetizers.
The ramen broths, made with recipes that chef-co-owner Leo Li has adopted from Japanese chefs, are boiled for at least eight to 10 hours a day to bring out the flavors of pork bones and chicken. “We combine those two things with water for all of our bases, and then depending on which bowl you get,” the ingredients vary, Kenny said, adding that their veggie ramen bowl is made with soy milk.
Entrees include pork buns, Japanese-style fried chicken wings, vegetable tempura, and fried baby octopus, all at $8 each. The most expensive items on the menu are rib eye donburi (grilled rib eye steak over onion rice) and grilled salmon donburi (grilled salmon seasoned with salt and lemon). Both cost $16.
“In this area, you don’t see a lot of ramen restaurants,” Kenny said. “This [ramen] is popular with young people and there’s a college nearby,” he said of choosing his first location in Nassau County, less than a mile from Adelphi University.
Kiko Ramen has yet to update the interior (its predecessor’s decor is still on the walls), but that’s because it currently operates as a take-out joint only. The plan, however, is to redo the dining room “to be more like Japanese culture” and add table service seating for about 40 people.
Kiko Ramen is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. It’s at 361 Nassau Blvd. South of Garden City. 516-307-9211. kikoramen.com.