Photos By Nicholas Karlin, Words By Brandon Wetherbee
Yes, Bantam King is in the old Burger King location.
The newest venture from Daikaya’s Yama Jewayni, Katsuya Fukushima and Daisuke Utagawa is around the corner from Daikaya. This is good because I can never get a table at Daikaya.
Bantam King specializes in chicken ramen, which is not a traditional ramen. But it’s also in a former Burger King and doesn’t try to hide that fact that it’s a former Burger King so this isn’t about tradition.
In addition to serving two types of chicken ramen (Chintan (clear soup) and Paitan (emulsified turbid stock)), Bantam King is a spin on the classic fast food chicken dinner. Think KFC or Brown’s Chicken. The menu is simple: ramen, chicken, vegan ramen and gyoza. It’s the kind of food and setting where you want to start or end a night of frivolity.
If you like chicken ramen, you’ll enjoy Bantam King. If you don’t like chicken ramen, order a Kikusui Funaguchi Shinmai Shinshu and Sapporo chaser and don’t go to a place with a chicken head as its logo. A chicken head logo means you should want to eat chicken. Eat the chicken. Don’t go to the chicken place for vegetable ramen. All that being said, we did not sample the vegetable ramen. BECAUSE THIS IS A CHICKEN PLACE.
The design of the restaurant from EditLab at Streetsense is fun, plain and simple. They kept some old BK touches and added some fun, plain and simple new BK touches. The floor is part old, part new. The counter remains. The lights are the same but the ceiling panels have been covered with bamboo. Nothing exactly matches and that’s intentional. Just like the menu, it’s simple with a new spin.
Bantam King opens soon and is located at 501 G St. NW.