Ramen Jinya

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Ramen Jinya is an international chain with many branches in the US. They have 3 restaurants just in Vancouver alone. I was skeptical at first, wondering how they can maintain 3 restaurants in Vancouver, a city that is literally crawling with ramen joints.

We went to their Kerrisdale location recently, in the evening that was just a little chilly with the wind. Vancouver has great ramen-eating weather, honestly.

The Brussels Sprouts tempura was delicious. They quartered the Brussels Sprouts to fry them. The batter was crispy, not too thick and the sprouts were tender inside. The menu indicated that the tempura was made with truffle oil, but the truffle flavor did not really register. Still, I enjoyed the Brussels Sprouts tempura, though people that don’t like Brussels Sprouts may find the sprouts’ flavor overwhelming.

Caramelized Cauliflower with pine nuts, crispy mints and lime ponzu. This was also a great appetizer. The cauliflower were soft and a little tangy from the lime ponzu. The veggies tasted a little oily but the lime ponzu kept it from being too heavy. The pine nuts made it a little more rich, though I wish they were a little more toasted and crunchy.

Now onto the main event. I got the Tonkotsu Assari ramen with an extra egg, because ramen eggs are the best, if made right. The pork broth was rich with strong flavors. The thick noodles were toothsome and not too soft and soggy. I always like to order an extra egg with my ramen, because I think the egg just makes the whole dish a little more decadent, and the egg shows the attention the restaurant puts into the food. Jinya’s egg was great, the yolk was still soft and runny in the centre. The egg was also well-marinated. I thought the ramen was delicious and filling. However, the ramen only came with one thinly-sliced piece of pork chashu. I was fine with the small amount of chashu, but for others, they might need to order extra.

I had a good experience at Ramen Jinya. The food was good, we got great service, and I can see the appeal in Jinya. However, I noticed that all the ramen at Jinya are priced at around $11-12, which isn’t that prohibitive, but the ramen does not come with a lot of toppings. For people that want more toppings, they will have to order extra, which means that one bowl of ramen can easily reach $20.

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