Eating DC: Chaplins

Being the Asian food lover that I am, I am constantly looking for new opportunities to stuff my face with dumplings and noodle soup of any kinds.  Recently my friend found Chaplin’s .  While looking over the menu, his eyes went directly to their Dumpling Shooters and 20 seconds later we had a reservation.
This place is definitely funky in a good way.  While the name and the theme of the restaurant are a bit confusing- the food should absolutely not be missed.  Did Charlie Chaplin love Japanese food or ramen?  The world may never know!
Chaplin’s is located in the heart of the hip and trendy Shaw neighborhood of DC.  It has a nice spot on the corner block, a funky bar and awesome outdoor seating which we got to be seated in because it was a beautiful day.  The menu is mostly Japanese food inspired with a twist.  They have everything from the typical pork Gyoza dumplings to the fancy miso soup and Japanese braised ribs.
To start off the night, they offered a killer happy hour with half off beers and cocktails.  Then we ordered the “Pay Day” dumplings which were pork filled dumplings with some alcohol in them and they were very delicious and had a unique tang to the taste due to the alcohol.  Next we ordered the “Kakuni” which is braised pork belly, scallion, bok choy in a sweet sauce and that was also delicious.  I am always up for some pork belly!
Next came the main course and the three of us dining order three different soups:  “Chaplin” a pork belly chashu, seasoned egg, scallion, bean sprouts, black sesame paste and tonkatsu flavor.  From the look of it, this one reminded me most of a modernized miso soup.  My other friend ordered the “Shoyu” which has pork butt, Chashu, bamboo shoots, scallion and nori- which looked the most like a classic ramen.  Finally, I got the “Chaplin A.S.S.” which is more of a Thai style noodle soup with a sweet and spicy coconut milk broth.
Chaplin’s A.S.S.- Asian Spicy Sour, Chicken, scallion, lemon grass, coconut milk soup with ramen style noodles and extra pork butt

All three soups were delicious and unique, the flavors extremely different from some of the other ramen shops in the DC area.  Chaplin’s is definitely worth checking out- especially for happy hour and even better if you can sit outside on the patio!

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