Gold medal to Tanpopo’s Miso Tonkotsu Ramen

Venture deep into Virginia (well as far as Annandale) and discover possibly one of the DMV’s best ramen houses.

Hidden in a not-so-hot shopping center, Tanpopo Ramen-House offers not just warm bowls of soup, but also sushi. Upon entering the building, you’ll question whether or not you’re in the right place. Beware of the parking lot, as it’s often filled on the weekend.

The cozy interior is filled with paper-like wallpaper plastered with bamboo paintings of creatures, bowls and strange scripture. The artwork reminds you Lion King cave writing, but in an Asian cultural way.

Our food came out lightning fast, perhaps within five minutes after ordering. If you think about it though, ramen really doesn’t take too long to make on a large-supply level.

Red pepper flakes sit amongst salt, pepper and soy sauce bottles. A little dab around a non-spicy soup gives it a nice kick of flavor.  

Nothing too special about the dumplings, but I always enjoy as an appetizer before a heavy noodle soup.

Below is the Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen. The broth lacked meat flavor due to the spice overpowering it. Noodles were on the softer side, but nothing short of displeasing. 

The Miso Tonkotsu Ramen takes home the gold. From all of the ramen I’ve tried in the DMV, this is the most-order dish. The broth came out extremely flavorful with just that hint of butter that you could almost miss if you didn’t know it was in the dish. It’s rich and tasty.  The pork slice comes seared in a delicious manner, but you have to dig around to find it. 

The only disqualifying factor was the egg’s composition. I’m in love with a runny, tea-boiled component, but this egg comes completely hard-boiled. The scallions add nice texture amongst the bean sprouts, but take note that for extra add-ons, there’s a price to pay.

Tanpopo Ramen House is located on 4316 Markham St. Call (703) 354-4938 to make reservations. 

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