Bantam King
 Washington D.C.      Date of Visit  04/20/17

Searches of where to eat in D.C. all ended up with Bantam King somewhere on the list. I was a little worried as our more mediocre outing at Bob’s Shanghai 66 also showed up on many lists, but for me, the push through traffic was worth it.

A small little corner spot is filled with all sorts of people and the communal seating really shows of how diverse a population has fallen for ramen and chicken. The service is friendly in a peculiarly disaffected way but hooks us up with a small bottle of sake, a little bowl of dumplings, a huge bowl of ramen, and East meets South fried chicken plate.



I’ve not had a great deal of sake, so I’m not going to pretend I have any idea as to how to address the quality of the cedar aged Kikumasumune Taru. I did enjoy its lightly sweet and clean smoothness and it did pair well with our many treats.

The Sui Gyoza were cute little noodle pockets of flavorful boiled chicken but really took a shine with the bright chili oil and sprig of cilantro. The slick spice and dumpling made for simple wonderful.

The ramen is based on a chickeny Paitan stock and we opted for the soy flavored basic bowl. I wouldn’t describe it as basic, just missing the dozen other things you could have added but the thing is already loaded with big chunks of tender chicken, slick and tender noodles, corn, herbs, spice, aromatics, and chicken, chicken, chicken. Nowhere as salty as the chicken soup you would most likely imagine coming out of a can, but balanced and bright. It was kinda funny watching the various patrons chopsticking long dripping noodles from their bowls in their fancy suits or ratty hoodies…until you realized you were pinching, scooping, and slurping with the same wild abandon you found amusing. Armani be damned…must get oodles of noodles into my gaping maw! I’ve not had hundreds of ramen dishes but this is by far the best I’ve enjoyed.


Everyone Dines Together In Festive Atmosphere

Unique Condiment Collection

Sake Works Great With Dishes

Sumptuous Little Pockets Bob's Shanghai Couldn't Deliver

Never Really Cared Much For Ramen

Mind Changed, Top To Bottom

The fried chicken gets its East meets South moniker from the combo of Nashville style hot bird added to more traditional Chinese flavors. The breast was enormous, crazily crispy and juicily just perfect. It was nowhere near as spicy as I had expected it but every bit as flavorful as I had desired. Spectacular. It comes with a few slices of grody (sweetish) pickles, slices of white bread and a bowl of rice. Nothing special. Unless of course, you fork over and additional two bits, twice(50¢) and they will douse the bowl of plain white rice with a fat pat of butter and, oh yeah, chicken drippings!!! If you have to clean car windows at the light on the corner for the fifty cents, do it. Don’t order until you do.


East Meets West...

Well, Hello!

Enormous, Delicious, Juicy

Doing This At Home!!!

They asked us about dessert, we asked what they had, didn’t really know what to think about either so we ordered both. The first were their chocolate chip cookies, served warm, and made with chicken fat instead of butter. They were good crisp and chocolaty cookies, but either my palate is failing me, or the chicken fat really didn’t make much difference from other fats. The strawberry mochi ice cream was more peculiar, good vanilla ice cream wrapped in obliterated into play dough rice which was flavored with strawberry. If you’ve ever had a wedding cake covered with rolled fondant, imagine that with less sweet and more other (in this case strawberry). We probably looked like morons for a minute as we tried to figure out if we were supposed to bob for the treats or wait for silverware. Our server happily assured us fingers were the best way. Trust the lists (sometimes) to find something unique…unless you can get stuff like this everyday where you live, the experience and the food is worth diversion. 

Sounded Peculiar...No Butter...Chicken Fat

Tasted Much Like A Chocolate Chip Cookie







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