Perfect bites are infrequent, but when they happen, you know: your eyes roll back into your skull, sighs are heard, and time stops momentarily. And this can be had at Jinya, the newest addition to the city's Japanese ramen scene.

Though this local branch is part of the Ebi-Ten family, Jinya hails from Los Angeles, where Takahashi Tomonori, who owns various different restaurants across Tokyo, opened the first branch in 2010. That location has found fans in the notorious Rameniac and Jonathan Gold, who wrote this, of our perfect bite:
"The slices of chashu, fatty simmered pork, were meltingly soft, barely coherent enough to be lifted from the noodles with chopsticks."
Thankfully, that's true of the Vancouver location as well. When it comes to Jinya's chashu, porcine gods have smiled down upon us and blessed us all, the pork, grilled lightly on one side, is so achingly fatty and delicious that a battle of metaphors will soon rain down amongst the food writers/bloggers in town.

That said, there's the remainder of Gold's review that the Vancouver Jinya carries as baggage, and portions of the bowl don't quite live up. The shio tonkatsu ($9.75) broth, while quite good, isn't quite the soulful "flavour bomb" that is found in other parts of the city (cough, cough, Santouka); the noodles are topped with perfectly fried shallots, and suitably toothsome, though slightly too slender to stand up to the rest of the bowl. You may wish to try the Jinya chicken ramen ($8.75) instead, where the chicken stock is rich and proud, and the thinner noodles make for a better match (expect slices of grilled chicken instead of the "seed studded chicken meatballs" that the LA location offers though). A multitude of sides (mostly $1 each, with $2.75 side 'combos' of 3) are offered: eggs are always a good decision, though someone's got to spread the gospel of the runny yolk to the restaurant, which offers a version hard-boiled in shoyu.

But the pork! A perfect bite is at Jinya, and the rest is almost irrelevant.


Jinya Ramen
270 Robson Street
Vancouver, BC V6B
Ramen Jinya on Urbanspoon