30 2015 Dec

Toki Underground

Washington DCTagged bar, food, fusion, hip, ramen, taiwanese

Every major city has seen an influx of ramen restaurants. Washington D.C. was no different. However, in 2012, Toki Underground hit the scene. Not only did they bring ramen, but they brought their creativity along with some new takes on Taiwanese favorites. In my opinion, saying this stuff was fusion really takes away from their creations. It’s more like New Asian in my book. Something you’ll find in Taiwan or Japan, but refined for the critical foodies here in the city.

We showed up for lunch right when it opened and saw a few groups already lining up. Once the door opens you walk upstairs into a place that I’ll describe as hip. You got a good view into the kitchen, a bar, and decor that’s a cross between street art and Anime pop. That’s cool in my book.

There were surprisingly a lot of seats and they were set up bar style. That it, you’re either sitting at the bar where they serve alcohol or along the walls where you sat side by side with everyone. In the middle was the table where the servers hung out. Pretty simple to turn around to flag one of them down. So you can say they were pretty attentive given this layout. I can’t say much about speed since we were about the third order to hit the kitchen and yes, our food came out quick, very quick.

Overall, I think this would be a regular spot for me, especially for dinner, if I lived in the area. But either way, I will be back at some point to try out more bowls.

Toki Underground
1234 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
+1 (202) 388-3086
tokiunderground.com

Verdict: Great bowl of ramen that’s full of taste, but don’t leave without trying their fried chicken gua bao.

Fried Chicken Steamed Buns @Toki Underground

This appetizer was made for two. But yes, it could be for one when you taste it and deem it unsharable. The spicy crispy chicken in the soft warm buns garnished with green onions and cucumbers tasted amazing. You almost could eat it without the house mayo sauce.

$15.00USD

Ox Impressions: 

Kimchi Ramen @Toki Underground

Now this was an obvious flavor combination that's rarely attempted and here, they did it right. It's like they took more of the heat from the kimchi and a bit of the sourness to keep the broth rich and tasty. For all you kimchi lovers, you may disappointed. But for those who love spicy ramen, this one will be a perfect change up from the spicy miso you usually order.

$14.75USD

Ox Impressions: 

Abura Tsukemen Ramen @Toki Underground

So I added a bit too much to my bowl of Tsukemen - Berkshire pork belly $6.00 and chicken soft bone $2.50. It made my meal way too salty. Add in the fatty dipping sauce and I could barely appreciate the ramen, which was on the thinner side. Which of course, gives you more taste of the dipping sauce over the noodles. Well prepared though. Each item was wonderful in isolation and the poached egg was perfectly runny. Next time, I'll order this and only add the chicken soft bone.

$12.50USD

Ox Impressions: 

Ramen Dipping Bowl @Toki Underground

If you're wondering how fatty the pork fat was, just look at that layer of oil. This is not diet friendly. Repeat, diet friendly!

Inside Toki Underground

As you can see, it's literally a ramen bar. Stocked with all the popular Japanese whiskies. Of course, you could just stick with a bowl of ramen.

The Walls of Toki Underground

While you wait you and your buddy can admire all the decorations this restaurant has put together for your amusement. Yes. Ignore that fragrance. Forget that you're a ramen lover. Look at the stickers, the toys. Then you'll realize only 15 seconds have passed.

The OxPosted December 30, 2015 By the hungry ox


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