A stretch of Route 347 in Stony Brook that is becoming a hotbed for all kinds of Asian eats now counts a ramen place among its ranks.
Iron Ramen opened Wednesday in a prominent spot that has held a string of Italian places, most recently Matteo's Pizza. Barely an hour into the eatery's first day, the lunch line was steady for bowls of wavy-noodled tonkotsu ramen and pastel tumblers of bubble tea.
Iron Ramen is co-owned by Kenny Li, Jackie Chen and a few other partners; Chen also owns Iron Poke a few doors away, as well as Midori Sushi & Steakhouse in Mount Sinai. The partners kept the clean, tiled look of its predecessor, though instead of stacked pizza boxes, glass urns of tea now line the counter.
Chen, who hails from China's Fujian province, said the kitchen simmers the pork broth for its tonkotsu ramen for at least eight hours; there are three versions ($11 to $12), each with some combo of pork belly, pork loin or ground pork, plus corn, wood-ear mushrooms, cabbage, scallions, seaweed and pickled egg.
Among the six other ramen bowls are a shoyu ramen — both meat and vegetable versions — a seafood ramen and a brothless cold ramen bowl. Rice bowls ($10) can come with kara-age (fried chicken), pork belly chashu or chicken katsu; among the smaller bites are edamame, shrimp shumai and pork-filled buns (bao).
Iron Ramen is placing an almost equal emphasis on hot and iced teas, from tisanes such as jasmine green and rosemary to milk tea, bubble tea and fruit-spiked tea smoothies; sweetness levels can be modulated from zero to all out ("100 percent," in Iron Ramen's lexicon).
Among Iron Ramen's neighbors, at least within a block radius, are Red Tiger Dumplings, Splendid Noodle, Ssambap Korean Restaurant and a Vietnamese eatery called Bambu.
Iron Ramen, 2350 Nesconset Hwy. Ste. 300 (Route 347), Stony Brook. 631-675-0228. ironramen.com