We take our ramen VERY seriously. Our usual go-tos are Bantam King and Daikaya, but we’re always looking for new places to try. We had high expectations walking into Akira Ramen because several of our foodie frands told us good things. We went in for an early lunch last Wednesday at around 11, and there were plenty of tables to choose from.
…probably because they opened right at 11, ha.
Get here earlier than later if you can because the place gets packed. When we finished eating, every chair was taken, and people were legit standing to get seated, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it was pouring outside so know that peeps are willing to brave the weather to come eat here.
Akira Ramen’s menu was short and sweet. They had 20-ish apps and 7 ramen options listed. We got a bunch of starters so we’re gonna discuss those first before talkin’ noodz so let’s get to it! There’s a lot to cover so make sure y’all stay with us. First up: their Okonomiyaki with shrimp & bacon ($9) – think of this baby as a Japanese pancake made with flour, eggs, cabbage, bacon and topped with different condiments. It’s similar to korean pajeon, but thicker and sweeter.
Then came their Chashu Bun ($6) – they list it as a singular nom, but you get 2 per order. The pork was really tender, which contrasted beautifully with the crunch of the cucumber and lettuce. The meat had a really nice flavor to it (think smoky), and the buns were SO ridonkulously soft. The spicy mayo was the cherry on top!
App no. 3 was their Seaweed Salad ($5). This was really good, but standard! We love seaweed because it’s yummy and nutritious so we got a plate to share, but it’s exactly what you’d expect. At $5, you get a nice portion, and it’s affordable so we recommend starting off your meal with an order.
We couldn’t leave without trying Akira Ramen’s Shrimp Tempura so we got that as well. This ended up being another one of our favorites so we’re glad we indulged! It was a solid dish all around – taste, price, and portion size were all on point. It came with 5 pieces total, and the squash was SUPER tasty. Everything was perfectly fried (with clean oil, thank god), and the accompanying dipping sauce was just the right amount of sweet. At $6, this starter was a really nice deal so definitely put it on your list.
Last but not least, we got an order of their Takoyaki (6 of these noms for $7). As you can see, they’re doughy balls made of wheat flour that contain bits of octopus inside. These babies were topped with two different sauces (spicy mayo and we’re guessing their house takoyaki sauce) and dried bonito flakes. If you like seafood, definitely give this plate a try. Note: this dish is one of the four on their menu that require an extra 15 minutes of preparation.
Andddd onto the noodz, FINALLY! We got two bowls and shared because we wanted to try their different broths. They offer three bases here: chicken broth, veggie broth, and pork broth. The Vegetable Ramen obviously comes with veggie broth, and the Karaage (deep fried chicken) Ramen comes with chicken broth – everything else is made with pork broth.
We got their Akira Volcano Ramen ($13.50) with curly noodz – you can get their skinny noodz if you prefer – and their Karaage Ramen ($13 – comes with curly noodz). The former came with chashu, stir fried bean sprouts, onions with pork, egg, fish cakes, corn, scallion, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, nori and black garlic oil.
It’s basically the “spicy” version of their no. 1 (aka Akira Ramen). We say “spicy” because it wasn’t spicy at all, haha. That doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy it though! It was REALLY good, and we’d totally go back for another bowl. We thoroughly enjoyed all the flavors, and we loved that they didn’t skimp on toppings. You can add on whatever you want for an extra cost, but honestly, it was perfect as is. They make their noodz fresh in house daily so expect perfectly cooked ramen with incredible texture.
The Karaage Ramen was much milder, but we really enjoyed that as well! It came with egg, fish cake, scallion, nori, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, and of course, fried chicken. Apparently, many don’t like that the chicken comes on the side? We personally thought it was smart and preferred it. Our chicken stayed nice and crispy, and we enjoyed dipping our noms in the two dipping sauces that came with – spicy mayo and a creamy wasabi (???). What do you guys prefer – on top or on the side?
Dual noodle pulls just because…
So much yum in our tum.
We were stuffed at that point so we didn’t get dessert (miraculous, we know), but next time, we’re gonna try their green tea ice cream + cheesecake! Located on 1800 Rockville Pike (next to Dunkin’ Donuts), this place will definitely become your go-to ramen place in Rockville. Don’t just take our word for it though – get your nom on and report back! ‘Til next time, friends.
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