So. Much. Ramen.
I eat this Japanese dish like it’s my job. I had my doubts about Haikan, but boy this establishment surpassed my expectations.
Elements feel eerie of Daikaya’s Noodle Shop, but that’s no surprise since it’s owned by the same team. Yet the interior decoration embodies a typical ramen restaurant with a large bar area against several tables to accompany groups and couples (booths included).
My friends and I stopped by the second day after it opened and met a 30-40 minute wait around 7:30 pm. After all, prime dinner rush coupled with the beautiful Atlantic Plumbing building made this a “must-visit” amongst residents and friends. We waited half an hour before realizing we could sit at any open seats at the bar. No one told us, but we found our way.
I ordered a $10 draft San-gu-ria, a unique take on berry, yuzu cocktail. I could sip this and my friend’s gurepu-furutsu all night long while eating a steaming bowl of noodles.
We diverted from the mapo tofu poutine since we figured it could easily be concocted in our own households and instead opted for eggs and Crab Rangoons. For $4 you can eat two tea-boiled eggs (also similarly used in the add-on ramen bowl) topped with egg roe and and a creamy sauce. Excellent. The crab rangoons came standard, the only unique bit: a sprinkle of Old Bay seasoning.
My miso ramen exceeded my expectations mainly because the broth didn’t taste too salty and the noodles’ consistency tasted near perfection. A special touch, the chef sautéed the bean sprouts to add further depth and flavor rather than a typical “filler” ingredient. Be sure to pay extra for the egg and chashu. The thick-cut meat held its necessary fattiness and texture that upheld the additional price. If you choose to skip out, there’s ground pork in the bowl.
The staff is still trying to figure out the means. My friend’s bowl didn’t look like it held the same standard as mine’s since it had thinly sliced chashu with less fat.
Give it a go before hitting 9:30 Club or a friend’s apartment. I’ll definitely be heading back.
Haikan is located on 805 V St NW.