Before the Khyber became the Khyber Pass Pub, there were talks about it becoming an izakaya of some sorts. The name of the izakaya is Royal Sushi & Izakaya and Chef Todd Dae Kulper will be in charge. The location is still to be determined so they’re going to have a series of these pop-ups and the pop-up this past Monday at the Khyber Pass Pub was the first.
pork belly buns
If you showed up on Monday, you’re well aware how much of a madhouse the Khyber was. The pop-up started at 5pm and I arrived around 6pm to meet up with some friends. When I got there, the wait was about an hour. Lucky for me, one of my friends had a seat at the bar…which eventually led to our party sitting at the bar. Within the next hour, I overheard some people say that it was now a 3 hour wait!
grilled eggplant buns
Even though the featured dish was the hakata style ramen, there were several items on the menu to choose from: crispy bok choy, pork belly buns, grilled trigger fish jerky, grilled eggplant buns, and gyoza, just to name a few.
grilled trigger fish jerky
The grilled trigger fish jerky was tasty. It came with a small dollop of Kewpie mayo. Does anyone know if you could special order this stuff anywhere? It’s quite fishy but I could totally eat it as a snack. They do have dried seafood “jerky” snacks at the Asian market after all.
hitachino nest real ginger brew
In addition to the food, there was beer and two specialty cocktails. Sorry, I can’t remember what the cocktails were. Sapporo was served as well as three different Hitachino beers, the Real Ginger Brew, the White Ale, and the Classic Ale. I was able to try all three and the ginger one was my favorite.
I’m new to the world of legit ramen. Before this night, the only ramen experiences I had were from college and childhood…and that ramen was of the instant noodle variety of course, so keep that in mind if you thought this ramen was bad. I found the hakata style ramen to be satisfying. It had a bunch of ingredients including pork shoulder, pork belly, a soft boiled egg, wood ear mushrooms, spicy miso, scallions, and more. Not sure how much meat should normally be in ramen, but I wouldn’t have complained if there was more in my bowl.
In the end, I’m glad I got to try out some of the dishes. Once Royal Sushi & Izakaya sets up shop, I’ll definitely come in for a ramen fix, especially since Philly seems to have a lack of ramen places, unlike that other city.
I would imagine they’d be posting updates as to when their next pop-up will be on here.