Sherman's Food Adventures: Jinya Ramen Bar (The Amazing Brentwood)

Jinya Ramen Bar (The Amazing Brentwood)

There was a time when I considered Jinya as one of more pricier spots for Ramen in the city.  How times have changed because most places are on par or even more expensive.  I guess the rising prices of food has caught up to Ramen as well.  Initially, we weren't planning on visiting Jinya anytime soon as there are many more other places I'd rather hit up first.  However, we wanted something quick and close by, so off we went to The Amazing Brentwood to hit up their newest location.

Before we got to the ramen, we started off with some appies including 10 pieces of the Crispy Chicken.  These were some ginormous chunks of chicken!  It appeared that most of the pieces were deboned drumsticks.  They were indeed crispy with a uniformly textured exterior that was not greasy.  The meat itself was succulent and juicy.  It was properly marinated and seasoned with garlic pepper but the side of ponzu dipping sauce as well as the slices of lemon added some punch.

We also got the Salmon Poke Tacos as well as the Jinya Bun.  Loved the crispy wonton shells for these small little tacos as they provided a perfect textural contrast to the soft fish.  As for the fish, the salmon was buttery soft and lightly seasoned.  I thought that it could've been more flavourful, but the lime did help the cause.  There was possibly too much onion as it became the dominant flavour.  The bun was quite good being soft and staying so even sitting around for awhile.  The fatty piece of chashu was fatty and tender.

For my choice of ramen, I decided on the Jinya Tonkotsu Original 2010 with pork chashu, spinach, seasoned egg, nori and extra thick noodles. This was a pretty rich broth with a silkiness due to the fat content as well as the collagen.  I found it flavourful with umaminess and a mushroomy finish.  To be honest, I generally do not like overly heavy ramen broths, but this was okay as long as I didn't drink a lot of it.  The noodles were firmly al dente and stayed as such until the last strand.  I found the pork chashu to be fattier than usual and since it was thick-sliced, it was sure not diet food.  Overall, this was still good.

For my son, he went for the Jinya Tonkotsu Black with pork chashu, kikurage, nori, seasoned egg, garlic chips, garlic oil, fried onion and spicy sauce (he opted for no spice though) with thin noodles.  Although his ramen featured pork broth as well, it was lighter with less saltiness than my tonkotsu original 2010.  Now that didn't mean it wasn't flavourful as it is was the beneficiary of the fermented taste of the garlic oil as well as the aromatics from the garlic chips and fried onion.  As with all of our ramen eggs, they were a touch past custardy and were a little light on the marinade.

Going even lighter, my daughter had the Yuzu Shio Delight with a chicken & pork clear broth, pork chashu, green onion, spinach, seasoned egg and nori.  This was fragrant and a bit floral while having only the slightest of meatiness.  For those who don't want the heaviness of a pork broth (especially the Tonkotsu Original), this would be for you.  Served with al dente thin noodles, this also helped keep things from being heavy.  I liked how the yuzu was restrained as it didn't make the broth too citrusy.  I'm not sure if the pork chashu was a good match for this broth.  Maybe chicken would've been better.

My parents also joined us for this meal and they split a Jinya Chicken Ramen with chicken chashu, spinach and fried onion.  I found this to have more body than the Yuzu Shio Delight as it wasn't a clear broth.  However, at the same time, it wasn't nearly as rich and heavy as the pork broth.  The cloudiness of the chicken broth added plenty of body still with natural sweetness.  Naturally, with no fat, the chicken chashu was not as tender as the pork, but it was hardly dry either.

Viv went for the Spicy Chicken Ramen with chicken chashu, spinach, spicy bean sprouts and green onion.  She chose spicy as the heat level and it was definitely that.  It wasn't too spicy so that we could still taste the sweetness of the broth.  Overall, we thought that this visit to Jinya was good and much better than we had expected.  Cost for ramen these days have crept up there, but Jinya has always been expensive, so I guess they are now on par.  With so many choices for ramen in the Lower Mainland, I still wouldn't choose Jinya over places such as Danbo, Hakkaido Ramen Santouka and Maruhachi though.

The Good:
- Decent ramen
- Excellent service
- Modern and spacious

The Bad:
- On the pricier side, but normal now  


Search this Site