Bantam King Added to 17° CxNW Recommended Restaurant List

Image: Ramen!

Last Updated: 5/25/2020

Current Status: The Daikaya group Ramen places are doing Take-out and Delivery (Tonari and Izakaya are closed until full service can return).

Before Times Review:

Last Visited: June 2019

This small casual spot is part of a string of related ramen spots (the others are Daikaya and Haikan, with more on the way).  Bantam King does chicken.  It is lighter than Daikaya’s Sapporo-style version around the corner.  The broth is stewed for a shorter period, giving it a brighter, less heavy, flavor.  They also do a spicy fried chicken with a choice of dark or white meat and a side of rice.  It has merely a wisp of spice, far from what you might be bracing for.  It is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. They also serve soft-serve ice cream for dessert and out of a walk-up window.

Colorful (unlit) Japanese lanterns and other touches add pizzazz to the simple tables.  There are four-tops, two-tops and two long communal tables.  Pop music is piped in as fans of all ages dine.  The beverage list include a decent selection of alcoholic choices.  Service is competent.  Located behind the Verizon Capitol One Arena and a couple blocks north of the Mall, it is worth walking past the national chains for something better.

Rating: Worth Taking a Walk
Cuisine: Japanese
Neighborhood: Chinatown/City Center
Address: 501 G St NW, Washington, DC 20003
Reservations: Walk-in

Other Critics/Voices:

Washington Post: Tom gave it 2 Stars in 2016. Tim put it on his inaugural dining guide in 2019 saying, “Chicken is indeed king here, and look no further than the cloudy, paitan chicken broths used in most of the ramen bowls, each so concentrated they taste like black holes of flavor.”

Washingtonian: #65 Joint with Daikaya/Haikan/Hatoba in 2020; Joint ranking with Haikan – #63 in 2019; #69 in 2018. Also Cheap Eats in 2018.