After reading about the Ramen Jinya’s Tonkotsu Black Ramen in fmed’s post on the Wise Monkeys Blog a couple of weeks ago, it was on the top of my list of items to try on my trip to Vancouver since fmed had put it in the same rank as Ramen Santuoka’s toroniku shio ramen, which happens to be my favourite ramen to date. Hence, I made Ramen Jinya the third and final stop of my mini ramen crawl last week. My first stop had been Motomachi Shokudo for their Bamboo Charcoal Ramen and my second stop Ramen Santouka for their Tan Tan Ramen.
Ramen Jinya, which opened up in Vancouver last year and is located near Yaletown, is the second ramen-ya for Japanese restaurant mogul Takahasi Tomonori, who owns several upscale restaurants in Tokyo and a few Jinya branded restaurants in Los Angeles including the original Ramen Jinya. Like its sister restaurant in LA, this Ramen Jinya on Robson is sleek and contemporary. The menu is fairly straightforward with the ramen offerings categorized based on the broth type. Ramen Jinya offers three different soup bases – pork, chicken, or vegetable.
My dining companions and I all decided to order the Tonkotsu Black Ramen ($10.75) as we had all read fmed’s blog post and were curious to see what this black ramen was all about. The Tonkotsu Black Ramen had a soup base containing Jinya’s original pork broth mixed with some black charred garlic oil. The ramen came topped with slices of pork belly cha-siu, spinach, diced green onion, bamboo shoots, fried onions, a flavoured soft-boiled egg, and a few pieces of seaweed. As usual, we all asked for the noodles to be firmer and our noodles came out perfectly al dente. Overall, I thought the ramen was very well-executed. I could taste the subtle flavours of the black garlic oil in the rich broth. The slices of pork belly cha-sui were tender and flavourful.
I’m really glad I got to try the Tonkotsu Black Ramen at Ramen Jinya. For me personally, if I had to rank all the ramen I’ve tried to date, I would rank this black ramen as third behind the Toroniku Shio Ramen and the Toroniku Kara Miso Ramen at Ramen Santouka, which are still my top two favourites. Though the pork belly cha siu in the black ramen was tasty, I still think the flavourful melt-in-your-mouth tender slices of toroniku (simmered pork jowl) from Ramen Santouka can’t be beat.
270 Robson St