A new ramen restaurant has hit the scene in Stony Brook.
Earlier this year, the owners of Iron Poke, Kenny Li and Jackey Chen, teamed with longtime friend Ale Zheng to launch Iron Ramen. The two restaurants are now located in the same shopping center off Route 347 in Stony Brook.
While Iron Poke specializes in poke bowls and sushi burritos, Iron Ramen focuses on classical ramen dishes.
“We’ve been talking about opening a business together for a long time,” said Zheng, 34.
The Coram resident, who grew up in China, has been cooking Asian cuisine since he was 14.
“I used to work in my family’s Chinese take out restaurant in Philadelphia,” he said.
After that, he began working in other Asian-inspired establishments such as Chinese buffets, sushi restaurants, and later opening his own ramen eatery in Manhattan.
“There was a lot of competition in the city,” he said, “but not many ramen places out here [on Long Island].”
That’s when he approached Li and Chen, and together they transformed the old 081 Pizza at 2350 Route 347 into their ramen vision.
According to the owners, Iron Ramen uses a chicken broth in its soups, unlike most places that use a pork base.
“We wanted to be different,” said Zheng. “Some people just don’t like pork.”
Zheng’s eatery offers a variety of styles of ramen, ranging from its spicy miso ramen to seafood shoyu ramen with shrimp, Kani, scallops and fish cakes.
Since opening in May, the best-selling item has been the Kara-agè Shoyu Ramen, which is Japanese fried chicken with cabbage, corn, scallions, Kikurage, seasoned egg, seaweed, with soy sauce in a vegetable-based noodle soup.
Other than ramens, there are rice bowls, steamed soft bun sandwiches, and several appetizers.
There’s also a focus on traditional tea options, from iced and hot to smoothie, fruit, and milk teas.
“Before this opened, I was here every day tasting teas from several companies,” said Zheng. “I wanted to bring in the best tasting with best flavors.”
To keep along with Iron Ramen, make sure to follow them on Facebook.
Scroll down to see photos from the restaurant.
Top: Ale Zheng at the Iron Ramen counter in Stony Brook.