Ramen Jinya – Red and Spicy

I am a ramen snob. I stick to a shop for ramen and order the same one or two types. I just find that whenever I go to another ramen place, I expect the quality and taste to be similar as my go-to place. Often times, actually most of the time, I am disappointed that my bowl of ramen fails to live up to the expectations I set for it. Basically like an Asian father that wants his child to be a doctor or dentist. Having my snobbiness for ramen revealed, I will try my best to be objective as I review Ramen Jinya

The Restaurant

Ramen Jinya is located on Robson St., about a block or two away from BC Place and a few blocks from Rogers Arena. Due to the location, Ramen Jinya is go-to spot whenever you’re watching a sporting event or concert and looking for a quick meal. The layout is rather spacious for a ramen bar. There are two large round table-esque seating areas with an additional dozen or so two people tables. However, the washroom is like any other Japanese restaurant. Small, one occupancy, closet like space for the men’s washroom.

The Food

Sara got her usual Tonkotsu Red with level 2 spiciness. I opted for a special they were having for the Winter months, the Spicy Miso Ramen. The difference between the two was that the Tonkotsu Red was spiced with a chili based oil or paste; whereas, the Spicy Miso Ramen was spiced with a spicy miso (fermented bean) paste.

Spicy Miso Ramen

Pork broth, spicy miso ramen paste.

Pork broth, spicy miso ramen paste.

The Spicy Miso Ramen is served with the usual Tonkotsu (pork broth) soup with a spoon full of a spicy miso paste. To be honest with you, I didn’t particularly like this bowl of ramen. The spiciness was too mild – I had to add a lot of pepper flakes to get to a level where I deemed was spicy enough. When I read spicy, I expect the bowl of ramen to be spicy and I would need a sip of water every now and then to quench the hotness.

The miso paste made the soup really “beany”. You could taste the paste. I can’t really explain it but the soup, after mixing the paste in the texture of the soup become really pasty, with a strong miso taste. I usually don’t mind the miso paste – its what I usually get – but the spicy miso paste they used had a strong miso texture/taste and not really spicy.

Personally, I felt the soup lacked depth and was over powered by the miso paste.

Tonkotsu Red (level 2)

Level 2 spiciness.

Level 2 spiciness.

This was Sara’s Tonkotsu Red (level 2). I can’t really say much about this bowl, but I did have a little taste of the soup. I preferred this soup over mine as this one was still “clear” or “smooth”. She had the Shoyu and the base tasted like Shoyu but had the hint of spiciness form the chili oil they used.

There is something wrong with the egg - Jinya Ramen

In my opinon, Jinya has the best marinated soft boiled eggs in Vancouver. Better than Kintaro despite their expertise in ramen/broth making. I personally like my ramen eggs or otherwise known as “Ni Tamago” with more flavour. By flavour I mean, marinated. Jinya definitely marinates them longer than other places. Yum.

As for the rest of the ramen, it gives the mouth a good treat. The mix of Chashu pork (fatty), seaweed, spring onions, bamboo, pork broth, and chilli oil gives a unique Jinya combination. Unlike Kelvin’s Miso ramen, the chilli provides all the extra flavor you need. Level 2 isn’t too spicy though. For the courageous, try going past level 4 where it packs more of a punch. I can tell you from experience that level 4 on a raging hot summer day was not a wise choice…

Random notes

  • The toppings were standard – chasu, bamboo shoots, seaweed, bean sprouts and egg
  • You get a whole egg (2 halves)
  • There was not an option of choosing between fatty or more lean pork.
  • The noodles were not my favorite. They weren’t chewy enough for me.
  • The have a odd way of filling your drink – they leave a quarter empty.

The Conclusion

Go if you…

  • Need a quick meal before a Canucks game
  • Want to challenge the level 10 spicy Tonkotsu Red
  • Want to try chicken ramen (they have it on the menu)
  • You want to try some awesome marinated boiled eggs

Don’t go if you…

  • Prefer more flavor in soup and chewy noodles
  • Are in a hurry and it’s near lunch time (Jinya can be crazy busy)
  • Extremely thirsty. Their drinks are badly priced and sizes are puny. Even their water glasses are small. Refills please, pronto!

Ramen Jinya 陣家 on Urbanspoon


Kelvin can eat a lot. To keep his body fueled, Kelvin will try to eat anything within an arm's reach. When not eating, he likes to work out, train jiujitsu and spend time with Ollie. Follow him on twitter @KelvinW_JJ or on his diary at whatkelvinthinks.com

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