Japanese Ramen experienced a period of explosion in Downtown Vancouver, and given Vancouver’s track record of cold weather and rain it’s not hard to see why! Yelp has a pretty good list of the Ramen shops (check it out here) but the majority of them are off Robson and some shops have had some difficult time keeping up the demand.
Ramen Jinya is unique in that their location is very central and convenient – Ramen Jinya is located just across from the Downtown Vancouver Library. It has become the go-to lunch spot for my coworkers and I on dreary days.
Recently, they’ve also added some summer specials like their Hiyashi chuka combo set and Tantan noodles. They’ve also added Takoyaki as a new side dish.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have the Tantan noodles when I last went (which is a shame since I love Tantan noodles!). With their classic menu, they have different types of Tonkatsu (pork) ramen, chicken ramen, and one vegetarian option.
To be honest, I have no clue why they both having so many different types of Tonkotsu ramen – pretty much everyone that eats here either gets the Jinya Tonkotsu Black, the Original Shoyu, or the Tonkotsu Red. The Tonkotsu Red Ramen is one spicy beast of a ramen. With levels 1 to 10, you better pick wisely or else your entire ramen will taste like fire. I’ve had it before, and level 5 was the limit for me in terms of actually being able to enjoy my ramen; 6 was just painful and anything higher would have probably killed me!
Ramen Jinya has good variety for their side menu. When we get the combo, we usually share some karaage or gyoza. They used to have dumplings, but it seems they recently removed it from the menu and added takoyaki instead.
One of my coworkers ordered the takoyaki just to try it out.
It’s a pretty sad looking takoyaki. I tried one piece, and there was barely any fillings – mostly batter. It still tastes like takoyaki, so it’s not all bad. Don’t order this one unless you really crave some takoyaki but can’t get any close by.The Jinya Tonkotsu Black Ramen is a favourite of ours. It’s different from your typical ramen because of their special ‘black’ broth.
Essentially, Ramen Jinya takes their original pork broth and adds some charred black garlic oil. When combined with the green onion, bamboo shoots, seaweed, garlic chips, pork belly cha siu, and kiukarage, you get an incredibly rich broth. The charred black garlic oil is subtle, but it definitely adds a nice layer of flavour over the usual pork broth taste.
Although it tastes great, I get a sense that the broth has some MSG in it. I get pretty thirsty after drinking the broth and get really sleepy after lunch!
Their noodles are pretty good! They’re cooked al dente and is the typical fantastic ramen style noodles. My favourite part of this noodle besides the broth though is their flavoured boiled egg!
The egg has a nice savoury flavour to it. It’s not quite like the Chinese-style tea-egg, but I think it is made using the same idea. The yolk is perfectly gooey, and it’s just so delicious to bite into this egg!
Overall, Ramen Jinya is solid for some authentic delicious ramen in a really convenient and central location. I put it behind Santouka, but it’s a go-to spot for lunch when it’s a rainy cold day. Make sure to go slightly before lunch to avoid lineups!