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Haikan, Ramen Shop at 8th and V Street in Shaw - From the Owners of Bantam King and Daikaya


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On July 1, 2016 at 3:08 PM, CapitalGourmand said:

I am looking forward to the opening of Haikan. Sapporo-style ramen is more to my liking and I read that Fukushima may eventually offer a degustation menu, though he hasn't said at which restaurant. minibar meets omakase maybe? I'm hoping it comes to Haikan.

Haikan is opening Saturday, according to the Washington City Paper. Expect Sapporo-style ramen, mapo tofu poutine (!!!!), and a "Wasabi Peas" cocktail.

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Went here last week. It's really a beautiful space. That whole area up there by 930 Club is really cool - the Atlantic Plumbing Company development (apartments/condos, Haikan, Hazel, Declaration, the movie theater, etc.). Looks sort of like mid oughts in Chicago where they got a little out of hand with the loft/industrial look, and instead of refurbishing places, they just built new places that resembled them. But, I like the look ...

Anyway, had a drink at Declaration first across the street, and then the crew walked over to Haikan. It was pretty busy, and we ended up wanting to eat sooner rather than later so we took the outside communal seating. We had a big group so trying to eat inside would have taken a while. It's an awesome space, just look at the pictures. Beautiful design. We got some beers and cocktails, nothing of note really, and then got 2 orders of the crab rangoons and 2 orders of mapo tofu poutine. This was the first time I've ever liked "crab rangoonies" (as my friend and her sister say). They looked really cool, not like the sad, pathetic things you get at American Thai restaurants. Old bay spiced. Delicious. Mapo Poutine is conceptually a really great idea. It's sort of a gravy, and topping fries with it makes natural sense. However, the key is that the Mapo Tofu has to be legit. And this one wasn't. It just isn't their specialty. If you got Hong Kong Palace's MPT and tossed on these fries, that would be baller. Anyway, we were here for the ramen.

I'd say most of us have had ramen quite a few times, but don't really think we are experts by any means. Most of us got the Shoyu +/- spice bomb +/- additional seasoned egg. One person got the Shio. Broth of the shoyu was dope. I really liked it. Had depth. Umami. They get the water for the broth from Japan in blocks of ice that are shipped every week. Great noodles. The gal who had the Shio enjoyed hers, as well. The spice bomb, for whatever reason, is made out of pork. I don't understand that - is that how it is done in Japan? It added some heat, and was enough for me, but one of my dining companions (who's favorite Ramen joint is Dashi in Durham, NC) felt it needed more heat. The chili oil helped.

Anyway, a great addition to our ever expanding Ramen selection. I did say it before, think we are hitting peak Ramen... 

-S 

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Just another vote for this place, having tried it at Simul's suggestion.  I had the shoyu, no spice bomb (thinking that I would be sophisticated and try it without overwhelming spice for my first taste of the place) but plus butter because that's how I roll.  Very good.  Also, strangely enough, a cocktail of muddled snowpeas, wasabi, yuzu and gin is quite good.  Plus, bartender was friendly and helpful, and conversation at the bar was friendly.  Give it a try.  (It's right by the 930 club, for us old folks.)

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I walked over here for lunch today in the first ramen-worthy weather we've had since they opened.  Had the shoyu, unadorned, and thought it was a match for any of the other noodle shops in DC I've tried (I'm partial to Daikaya anyway, so this wasn't any surprise).  Look forward to going back and trying some of their other bowls, especially the miso.  It's dangerous to have good ramen like this in easy strolling distance of our house.

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Thanks to the tip from @eatruneat, I had a nice bowl of ramen here last night.  All seating was outside (current DC policy), and it was surprisingly pleasant (although last night was a fairly warm night for January).  They had a large 2-sided tent set up out front with a big heater blowing warm air into it.  They also had these little attachments for propane tanks that blew out hot air.  A couple tables had them aimed right at them for additional heating.  I felt no more at risk eating here than I do walking on the street or buying groceries.

I had never been here before so I took the server's advice and got their Shoyu ramen supplemented with an Onsen egg.  Very rich and tasty!  

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