Photo by Jeff Myers
Photo by Jeff Myers

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Ramen World is akin to visiting an epic ramen hall in Japan without the jet lag and currency exchange. At Ramen Stadium in Fukuoka and the Ramen Museum in Yokohama you can manifold ramen styles in one place. The District’s version is held every year at Mess Hall and always sells out. This year it falls on Sunday, Feb. 25 and includes a fresh set of vendors.

Petworth darling Himitsu will be serving a dish along with The Source, Chaplin’s RestaurantPaper Horse from Erik Bruner-Yang, Abunai, Nomad Dumplings, and Momo YakitoriKatsuya Fukushima will represent his trifecta of ramen restaurants—Haikan, Daikaya, and Bantam King. Not every chef will serve traditional ramen.

Fukushima, for example, will be using ramen noodle buns to cradle a meatless Impossible Burger patty. Fukushima was involved in the development of the Impossible Burger, famous for its ability to “bleed” much like a real beef patty cooked medium rare. Abunai, known for its Hawaiian fare, will ladle out yaki-soba noodles spiked with Spam. Nomad Dumplings, a Mess Hall member, will provide samples of their potstickers. 

By day, Mess Hall is a food incubator and commercial kitchen space where local producers make and package their products. That means there are multiple kitchens on site. “The most unique thing about Ramen World is everybody gets a kitchen,” says Mess Hall founder Al Goldberg. “Everyone is producing hot, fresh food instead of serving it out of a chafing dish. You get to interact with chefs and see how food is being made.” 

Ramen World beverages include beer from Kirin Ichiban and cocktails. 

Tickets are all inclusive and two sessions are being offered: 12 to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. General admission tickets are $70 and VIP tickets are $110. A VIP ticket gets you a pass that allows you to cut the line to try food and drinks faster, plus a swag bag.

“It’s the one and only time you can skip in front of everyone else to get to Himitsu,” Goldberg jokes. 

Everyone will take home a bottle of San-J tamari soy sauce.

Mess Hall, 703 Edgewood St. NE;