viva la vancouver eats: ramen jinya

To finish off our Saturday food adventures, we were actually undecided on what to eat.  By the time the dinner hour approached us (~7:30pm), we were actually feeling a bit of a food hangover from breakfast and lunch, so it became hard to think of eating again.  What had happened to us?  We started out perky and anxious to get out there and eat our hearts out, but it seemed that food had almost TKO’ed us.  Were we getting old?  Did we just need to man up?  Or was it that our bellies simply weren’t used to having so much food all at once?  We assumed that since we’d been practicing a much more healthier lifestyle for the past several months, the sudden onslaught of deliciously rich food was weighing heavily on us.

The original plan was to head to La Taquiera, which I’d read rave reviews about.  We both love Mexican food, but I found out that it closes at 8:00pm and by the time we got ourselves ready and out the door, we wouldn’t make it.  So, what to do?  We’d actually been doing a lot of walking and were feeling quite tuckered out, so I went on the interwebz to find a place nearby.  We’d walked by Ramen Jinya (which was literally around the corner from our hotel) in the morning, so we thought we’d give it a try.

I did some quick research on Jinya and discovered that it’s relatively new to the Vancouver ramen scene.  The decor is quite modern and contemporary.  Most of the tables were taken (except for a two-seater which seemed awkwardly placed near the door), so we opted to sit at the communal bar area.

The menu itself is quite simple and straightforward.  Their ramen offerings are organised by broth-type: pork, chicken, or vegetable.  We were intrigued by the Tonkotsu Black Ramen (pork broth, pork belly char-siu, bamboo shoots, green onions, fried onions, flavoured boiled egg, seaweed, black garlic oil), so we both got ourselves a bowl.

I was expecting the black garlic oil to have more of a prominent garlic flavour, but it was actually very subtle and earthy.  We’re actually not used to the milkier pork broth (which I think is the more traditional ramen broth), so we were unprepared for how rich it was – not that it wasn’t tasty, though.  I had asked for my noodles to be firm and they came just the way I like it – a little bit on the “al dente” side.  For some reason, Mark’s noodles looked totally different – not the usual, curly ramen noodles, but a flatter, yellowy egg-based noodle.  Seemed a bit odd (he liked my noodles better).  The portion size was just right for me.  I find that noodle bowls in Calgary are way too large for my appetite, so it was nice to have a relatively normal-sized bowl.

I think we would’ve enjoyed it more had we been feeling a lot less worn down from stuffing ourselves so much earlier in the day.  By the time we finished, we were both exhausted and feeling heavy.  It’s a shame that this is the feeling associated with this place.  Honestly, the ramen was tasty, but I think our hearts just weren’t in it. :(

Ramen Jinya
270 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B 0E7
Phone: (604) 568-9711

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