As I've mentioned before, I misjudged the bubble tea craze as a passing fad many, many years ago. It not only didn't go away, there are new spots opening up all over the place. The same could be said about Ramen as it seems that whenever there is a lull with new joints appearing on the scene, a few show up randomly. This would be the case with Ramenman and the newly opened Ramen Gojiro. Seeing how Sean posted some impressive photos of his visit to Gojiro, Grace and I met up with him to see for ourselves.
Due to the power of suggestion (Sean's photos) and more likely just my stomach's greediness, I insisted on getting the Basic Bakamori with chashu. To clarify, the Jiro-style of ramen features a chicken & pork broth with thicker noodles and topped with cabbage and sprouts as well as a dollop of raw garlic condiment. Hence, the ratio of noodles and veggies are almost 50:50. I found that the biggest impact was from the garlic as the soup was pungent as a result. Once past the initial sharpness of the garlic, the broth was fatty and full-bodied without being overly salty. The thicker noodles were chewy and stayed as such until the very end. The semi-thick slices of chashu were purposefully fatty where the texture was tender while still retaining a certain chewiness and rebound texture.
Our next bowl was the Spicy Ramen with chashu where we selected the medium spice level. Despite the dark red hue, the broth was not particularly hot. There was a slight bite to the broth, but once again, the garlic dominated the flavour profile. Mind you, I wasn't expecting blazing spiciness anyways. In some sense, this helped balance off the strong garlic presence. Personally, I preferred this broth over the regular as provided more impact to counteract the large amount of veggies and the thicker noodles. Sean went for the same Spicy Ramen with chicken karaage. Nothing more to report other than that I'm not a huge fan of placing fried items in hot broth. At the very least it was on top of the veggies.
About that Karaage, we got a side order so Grace and I could sample it as well. Juicy and succulent, the chicken leg meat was well-seasoned. On the outside, the batter was light and almost flaking off. It was slightly greasy, but was still crispy. We also got an order of the Gyoza and I would've liked to see more colour. At the same time, it was still crispy on the bottom while the dumpling skin was thin and chewy. Inside, the filling was moist, if not a touch too mild-tasting. However, an aggressive dunk in to the salty-vinegary dip solved that problem. Now, the bigger issue for me is the amount of veggies in this style of ramen. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of it as it dilutes the flavours and interferes with the noodles. I'm a huge fan of garlic, so the dominance of the condiment didn't bother me so much, but I can see it being a problem for others.
- Portions are large, especially the basic bakamori- Noodles are firm and stay firm
- If you love garlic...
- The garlic dominates everything
- Personally don't like the amount of veggies
- I prefer softer chashu, so this one was a bit chewier