Humongous pots filled with creamy, thick broth have replaced the gas- and wood-fired oven at Gaetano’s Flour & Fire. Welcome Garden City’s newest ramen spot, Kiko Ramen.
Kenny Li, who also owns Iron Poke and Iron Ramen, both in Stony Brook, is bringing a handful of ramen bowls — miso (traditional and spicy), shoyu, negi, tonkotsu and a vegetarian option — to the area, plus a variety of rice bowls and some appetizers.
The ramen broths, made with recipes that chef-co-owner Leo Li adopted from chefs in Japan, are boiled for at least eight to 10 hours a day to bring out the pork and chicken bone flavors. "We combine those two things with water for all of our bases and then depending on what bowl you get," the ingredients vary, Kenny said, adding that their vegetarian ramen bowl is made with a soy milk base.
Among the appetizers are pork buns, Japan-style fried chicken wings, vegetable tempura and deep-fried baby octopus, all $8 each. The most expensive items on the menu are the rib-eye donburi (grilled rib-eye steak over rice with onions) and the grilled salmon donburi (grilled salmon with salt and lemon seasoning). Both cost $16.
"In this area, you don’t see many ramen restaurants," Kenny said. "It [ramen] is popular with the young people and there’s a college" nearby, he said of choosing his first Nassau County location, which is less than a mile away from Adelphi University.
Kiko Ramen hasn’t updated the interior yet (its predecessor’s décor is still on the walls), but that’s because it’s operating as a takeout only joint right now. The plan, though, is to redo the dining room "to look more traditional to Japanese culture" and add seating with table service 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 in Garden City. 516-307-9211. kikoramen.com.