For the second year, Ramen World descended upon Mess Hall with a queue of hungry ramen lovers who arrived at least 30 minutes before doors opened in an attempt to surpass the guaranteed long lines. Ramen, a dish once considered a college staple, has now become one of the most commonly shared photographs on Instagram. Type in #ramen and you may be surprised by the results. As diners become more knowledgeable and interested in food trends, it seems only right that the popular Japanese noodle dish would catch on. And though instant ramen has been around since 1958, there is something mildly addictive about freshly rolled noodles, simmering broth, and flavorful toppings that can convert even the most straight-laced eaters.
Some of the most sought after restaurants came out to showcase their skills like Chaplin’s, the 1920’s themed eatery in Shaw who provided three selections: tan tan men, shoyu, and stamina. We chose stamina, a delicious spicy broth with springy noodles coated by a perfectly poached egg yolk. Bantam King, the soon-to-open chicken ramen shop by the team from Daikaya, unveiled its bowl of memorable light colored broth enhanced with vegetables and small, chopped pieces of marinated chicken.
Donburi made its first food truck appearance though its space over in Adams Morgan has captured umami in a rice bowl for over two years. Thip Khao, nominated as one of Bon Appetit’s 50 Best New Restaurants last year, brought out Chef Seng and her wonderful team. While newcomers such as Purple Patch, a Filipino restaurant located in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood and Toli Moli, a Burmese dessert shop run by mother, Jocelyn Law-Yone and daughter, Simone Jacobson were popular favorites among the crowd.
Cocktails and beer were provided by True Syrups & Garnishes, Shrub District, Traveling Sideshow Cocktails, and Kirin, Japan’s well-known 100% malt beer. With DJ Smudge spinning records and the weather a balmy 60 degrees, Ramen World, rocked our world. We look forward to exploring these restaurants all over again, one by one. Great job to everyone involved.