I first went to Chaplin’s in the Shaw neighborhood of DC a few weeks back for drinks. We had already had dinner that night, but looking at the plates of food and steaming hot ramen that went by us, I knew I needed to return soon.
We recently went back with some friends and were seated in the upstairs dining room, with a perfect view of the (silent) Charlie Chaplin movie projected on the wall. As we knew from our previous visit, the drinks are on point. We especially liked the “Woman of Paris”, which is a rye whiskey based cocktail, and “A Dog’s Life “, which is also a whiskey and prosecco drink. Another favorite was The “Vagabond” , a light and refreshing gin and cucumber cocktail.
We started our dinner with pork buns, shrimp gyoza, and pork ribs. The pork buns were fabulous – braised pork with a spicy teriyaki sauce in a fluffy bao bun, with carrots and cucumber for crunch. They come 2 to an order, and are a decent size. We were sharing, but I could definitely eat an order of them myself. I thought it was great these are also available in vegetarian or vegan versions.
Another section that caught our attention was the “dumpling shooters”, which basically are dumplings that come with a shot of alcohol inside. We tried the shooter, which was a fun (and adult) way to start the meal.
Now, on to the ramen. Chaplin has a variety of different options, and while it was hard to pick, I got a chance to try the different varieties we got at the table. I stuck with a traditional miso style, which came with ground pork and pork chashu. It came with a poached egg, but I am glad I switched out to the “Stamina egg” which is a soy infused soft boiled egg. The Chaplin ASS (Asian Spicy Sour) was also popular at the table, but it was more like a noodle soup, with coconut milk and lemongrass flavors. The ramen is generally priced between $12-14, with a number of add-ons for extra. (Note: the Stamina egg is an add-on, sadly). All in all though, we were a very happy table.
1. Drinks at Chaplin are creative and tasty with fun names! They also have an extensive beer, wine and sake list.
2. The menu is very vegetarian friendly and by far has the most number of vegetarian ramen options I have come across in DC.
3. There is a popcorn machine downstairs with bags of popcorn. Best part, it’s free, and is a perfect snack for happy hour, or if you have a bit of wait. (However, do get the pork buns ;))