The 2nd restaurant from the partners behind Daikaya has opened (partners Daisuke Utagawa, Executive Chef Katsuya Fukushima, and Yama Jewayni) and it’s electric. Specializing in chicken Ramen, Bantam King offers the same great food of its sister restaurant while adding a couple twists. While Daikaya is the traditional Japanese Ramen shop, Bantam King is the hole in the wall shop occupying a former chain restaurant location. After learning this, the authenticity only increases upon realizing Burger King was the previous tenant – hence, BK – Bantam King.
Comics, paper lanterns, cafeteria trays, and bright colors are showcased throughout the restaurant, all thanks to design dynamo Brian Miller.
The decor isn’t the only thing that’s different – the gold star goes to the fried chicken you’ll find on the menu. Don’t get me wrong, the Ramen is still king, but the fried chicken is easily queen. It’s seasoned with several spices, breaded, and fried. While you’re not likely to feel the need to order both entrees to fill an empty stomach, the addition of something besides their staple items should entice a larger audience to frequent the new location.
But don’t get too caught up in the fried chicken and forget to enjoy their famous ramen, as we enjoyed both the chicken broth and veggie versions on this trip. We also tacked on an order of the Sui Gyoza (chicken dumplings) and were intensely satisfied.
Bantam King should be a huge success and will easily build upon the reputation of Daikaya. After largely introducing the area to these Japanese dishes a couple years ago, this sister restaurant should come as a breath of fresh air for those wanting to avoid waiting in the lines outside of Daikaya. Or just pop on over and have a bit of sake or another boozy beverage.