Friday, February 14, 2020

Introducing Area Guides

Noctive Japan is a nightlife-centric web magazine featuring DJ interviews, club information, and now ramen guides. Check em out!

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Bantam King in Washington, D.C.

Bantam King

Bantam King is a chicken ramen joint in Washington, D.C. The name comes from their location, in an old Burger King restaurant. They kept the shop looking very BK, and even designed their logo to match. Fun stuff.

My second time in D.C. The portrait museum is incredible. A must-visit.

Of course, you can't serve ramen without cheap sake. I'm not so critical on my site, but most of these are ones I wouldn't drink. Except for the Otokoyama. A sake from Asahikawa, Hokaido. I love the stuff. The price of $14 is a bit high, but this is coming from someone who lives near the source.

Totally a cool shop, designwise.

The ramen is ok.

My opinion was affected heavily by what I saw near the door.

Delivery ramen. I understand that it is a business choice, but to me this is gross. Microwave your ramen, drop in the partially boiled noodles. Microwave again. To me, it is as bad as taking half of your unfinished bowl home, something which many ramen shops allow. 

So there you have it. I completely understand that it is a business decision, and quite normal in America. You do you, it's all good.

At Bantam King, they also serve fried chicken. A quick google search shows it is both "the place to eat this weekend" and "an essential shop in DC."

Ok, despite my rather blah impressions, this is a unique spot and worthy of a slurp if you live in D.C. I am 100% sure that my opinion was affected by the bags of delivery ramen sitting by the door, noodles becoming stale as they waited for the Uber Eats driver to arrive and deliver them to some senator who could care less.

Official site here.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Daikaya in Washington, D.C.


I was in our nation's (America for ya'll who don't know) to do a ramen pop-up event back in May 2019. Of course, I wanted to try a couple of the local shops to see what was going on. Daikaya is probably the most famous shop in town. Noodles imported from Hokkaido, Japan. Miso is their specialty, but in true Hokkaido fashion, they have a menu with shio and shoyu as well. The shop is in a cool part of town, has an izakaya on the second floor, and is just minutes from all the attractions.

Do you think Trump slurps here?

Vegetarian ramen is standard at (most) American ramen shops these days.

Cool design is also a standard in most popular shops.

Noodles imported from Sapporo's Nishiyama Seimen, one of the only noodle companies to have an export business for their noodles. I hope to visit their noodle factory in Japan soon!

The shop doesn't just have ramen. Japanese beers, sake, shochu, and cocktails are all there. No, I didn't have a DIAL BACK THE MOXIE, a drink with lemongrass shochu, aged rum, acho reyes chile liqueur, honey, lime, thai basil with my ramen, but you can.

By the way, the second floor of the building is an izakaya. I didn't go, but I like the concept.

All in all a satisfying bowl. You might wait a bit, as people tend to linger in ramen restaurants like this. When I went, we waited about 10 minutes, but I've heard of much, much longer waits.

I absolutely love that they tell patrons to eat within 45 minutes. Still, 45 minutes is way too long for a ramen lunch, but at least it is a start. Personally, in Japan, I try to spend no longer than 10 minutes slurping my ramen, and if the shop has a line of any length, I am quick to get out. I know, I know, the customer is king in America, but that is just the way ramen shops run in Japan. No drinks, no snacks, just ramen. You do you, but if you want to spend the entire 45 minutes enjoying time with friends, I suggest crushing that bowl asap, then chilling with a drink and snack after the noodles.

Official site here.