270 Robson Street
T: 604 568 9711
Brief Description: Ramen Jinya is a new ramen joint (duh!) that has opened at Robson at Cambie Street. They offer eight different types of ramen made from pork, chicken, and vegetarian (yes, you read correctly) broth. Other menu items are limited. Prices are extremely affordable at around $9 a bowl.
My office, located close to BC Place, appears to be situated in a food dead-zone. Most of the good food places in this area are a small hike away so I am pleasantly surprised to find that a new foodie hot-spot is only mere meters from my office. The location is on Robson Street in the old Ezogiku café which, funnily enough, also specialized in ramen although they obviously didn’t do it as well as Ramen Jinya. Only open for just over a month, Ramen Jinya, has been doing a rip-roaring trade if the lunchtime queue is anything to go by.
The decor is modern but not fussy, and seating is limited to about 30 patrons. I have personally been to Ramen Jinya many times now (some might say too many times) and I’m completely addicted to the chicken wonton ramen. Yes, chicken ramen. I don’t know how authentic chicken ramen is but I can attest that it tastes fantastic. I find the chicken broth to be silky in texture and rich in flavour, although it is a little on the salty side (but isn’t all ramen?). The wontons are full of flavour from seasoned minced chicken and should be eaten fairly quickly to avoid them going soggy. An addition of steamed spinach and a sprinkling of spring onions complete the dish.
Besides the chicken broth there is, of course, pork broth as well as a vegetarian broth (I’m pretty sure that’s not authentic). There are about 8 different ramens in total; four of which are pork, three are chicken and one vegetarian. Each bowl comes with a generous serving of egg noodles that are piled high under the broth. For the pork ramen, you can choose from shoyu tonkotsu, spicy tonkotsu, miso tonkotsu, or the shio tonkotsu, which is made with pork belly and they only make 20 bowls of it per day. I personally found it too fatty but almost all of my Asian colleagues love it, so perhaps that means it is authentic?
Final Thoughts: I’m pretty sure that there are ramen purists out there that will have a bone to pick with Ramen Jinya (it’s not authentic enough, too salty, blah blah blah) but for me, as someone who just enjoys a steaming bowl of brothy noodles, I like it. It is cheap (around $9 a bowl) and I like that there are other broth options besides just pork. I can definitely see Ramen Jinya being my lunch choice in the cold, wet days of winter.