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Chef Katsuya Fukushima is a partner and the executive chef of Bantam King,Haikan, and award-winning authentic Japanese ramen shop and izakaya, Daikaya which opened in early spring 2013. This popular Chinatown restaurant spans two floors and showcases a lively izakaya-style restaurant upstairs, as well as a Sapporo-style ramen on the street level.
For two years, Fukushima and his partners planned Daikaya’s every detail, a tremendous project that Fukushima embraced with the passionate style and talent that has made him such a well-reputed chef at home and beyond Washington, DC. Daikaya earned three stars from The Washington Post Food Critic Tom Sietsema with its opening review, and was ranked in the “100 Best Restaurants” in Washington by Washingtonian magazine. Daikaya was also named one of GQ magazine’s “25 Best New Restaurants in America,” in February 2014, and captured “Best Japanese” in the Washington City Paper’s annual readers’ poll in April 2014. Daikaya’s food is highly personal and creative reflecting Fukushima’s background, which includes eighteen years of culinary expertise, a recent tour through Japan’s most popular ramen shops, kindling his own Japanese-American heritage.
Chef Seng was born in Laos and fled the country during the Vietnam War. During her stay at a Thailand refugee camp of Nakhon Phanom, she learned how to cook from her camp neighbors and elders. At the age of twelve, she was the eldest of five and took on the role of caretaker of her four younger siblings in order to support her working mother.
In 2009, at the age of 40 she decided to go after her greatest passion, cooking. She took over Padaek, previously Bangkok Golden, in 2010 and in 2014, she opened Thip Khao, a Lao restaurant in Columbia Heights and home of the #LaoFoodMovement. Thip Khao has been named one of the top 50 new restaurants in the US by Bon Appetit Magazine, Michelin Bib