Ramen Jinya is a ramen spot on Robson. This is the first Canadian location of this California based chain.
This is fairly new ramen joint located conveniently right across from the main Vancouver Library in downtown. We decided to drop by here with a party of 6 to celebrate our friend’s birthday at around 6:30PM but it was quite full at the time so we had to wait around 20 minutes. The restaurant isn’t very big and can fit perhaps 30 people or so. Judging from the line up on a Monday night, their name has already become quite established in Vancouver so we wanted to give it a go!
Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen - Level 9 Spiciness (you can choose out of 10 levels) - $9.45 (6/7)
Comparing this to authentic Japanese ramen (yes, Gabriel has had at least 50 bowls of authentic ramen in Japan!), this was pretty darn good. The noodles were nice and chewy, the toppings were fresh and delicious, and the soft boiled egg was absolutely perfect! Now, lets talk about the spiciness… We love spicy food. We can eat mouth-numbing spicy noodles from Szechuan, China or drink spicy soup from Korea, but we must admit that this was quite spicy! Judging from the first sip, we didn’t feel like it was spicy at all. However, by the time we reached the second last bite, our mouths were burning! This type of spiciness was different from Chinese and Korean dishes because it seemed like it accumulated throughout through meal. For every bite we took, the heat just got worse and worse. The area around our mouth was completely red but we were foodies with a mission: to finish this bowl! We ended up engulfing the dish quickly with the help of three glasses of iced water and it took a while for us to cool down. The noodles were delicious and if we were to come back, we would order level 5 just so we can actually taste the ramen! The only part about this dish that didn’t really impress us was the pork. The pork at Kintaro Ramen is probably the best in Vancouver in our opinion.
One of my favourite things about fall and winter in Vancouver is ramen. We tried to go to Menya but it was closed because of the holiday. We ended up at Ramen Jinya instead which was a good thing because I'd been wanting to try it since it opened.
Jinya replaces the long standing Ezogiku Noodle Cafe. The interior has been refreshed but the layout is pretty much the same. We both ordered a bowl of ramen; I ordered a shio and my dining partner had the shoyu. We also ordered some gyoza and karaage. The karaage was definitely the stand out for the appetizers; boneless deep fried chicken topped with daikon and green onion. It was really good.
My ramen was very tasty with a rich and flavourful broth although an extra topping or two would be nice if it was included. I guess I could have added it. The pork belly was fatty and really good.
Overall I enjoyed my ramen here and I will be back.
Oh another ramen joint in Vancouver. This one appears to be a chain that is also in US (LA?). In fact, the proudly proclaim some press accolades, one even said it's one of the 10 best dishes in LA. Really?
Well, the decor is cheapy ramen place. I'm okay with that, but it certainly doesn't have the character of many of the other places. The menu? Short and simple. That's not necessarily bad ... but the choices are not terribly inspiring. I swear I saw somewhere that they said their ramen caters not to Japanese taste, but North American taste. Big mistake. Because this is Vancouver, not LA.
So that's the summary. Passable, boring ramen. There's nothing to complain about, but not much to cheer about either. In this packed Vancouver market, I would, unfortunately, rate this a loser. I would have to be pretty desperate not to walk an extra 10-15 min. or hop on the bus/Skytrain to hit better ramen, where there's plenty to be had in Vancouver. Sorry dudes, you can't just import Americanized swill to Vancouver and expect it to succeed. Not recommended, don't waste your tummy here.
I was one of their earlier customers...
here's what was on their Shio Ramen..
Deep fried onions, green onions, Pork Cha Shiu, spinach, bamboo shoots and of course ramen noodles and soup!
I would write up for one of their noodles because it'll take forever to finish if i did their whole menu..
everything fit in nicely, soup tasted like it was from real pork and bones, not just the nasty msg and salt..
Pork was nice, tender, savory and portion was 2 big slices... (my favorite part!)
6months later... they have changed their menu a bit, there is no more limit of 20 bowls of Shio per day.. instead, we get unlimited.... thats a good sign!!! HOWEVER, with this type of change, they have gone cheap with the pork... they downsized it to 2 small pieces... which is like a size of a salty cracker... i was like WTF?
oh well... since they still taste the same.. i understand... it's business..
2months later...(today)..... WOAH!!!!!!! I'm not sure if the waitress heard it wrong or do they stop giving deep fried onions... i asked for no GREEN onions.. and she probably wrote down NO ONIONS... sigh
Not only that, but the soup tasted like water?!?!?! Why are you going cheap on soup??? Not only that, but the cracker-sized pork cha shiu has reduced to another half size.... so 2 Pork cha shiu's = 1 cracker!!!!
Like SERIOUSLY??? I have advertised your restaurant to my co-workers and this is what i get back in return?? I'm afraid this place may scare my co-workers away, thinking that i have bad taste in food!
I hope someone from their restaurant reads this.. because this is ridiculous!!!!!!!
Ambience is okay.. nothing special..
Service is fine.. they do ask if everything was ok or not.... although it wasnt okay, i didnt think it's cool to make a scene for people to watch during lunchtime.. while i complain about every aspect that they have changed..
I used to give them a 5/5 for the food.. but it just upsets me.... but i totally give a 1/5 for all the cheap downsizing.
In a business perspective, it may help you save money, but it wont help you SAVE CUSTOMERS... if rent is too expensive, it really is your problem to calculate everything before opening in DOWNTOWN.
I look for quality in foods... not crap...
Busy little place but not worth the wait with so many other good restaurants close by. The are generally cheap on their meat portions so if you really like more ramen this may be the place for you. The taste is good though not great and sometimes a bit too salty. OK but nothing stands out about this place.