Fatboy and I were feeling for ramen, and you can never choose which one to go to in downtown because, like Starbucks, they’re everywhere.
Fatboy recently got into this whole black garlic fad ever since returning from Hong Kong, I had heard Jinya serves a black garlic ramen as well so decided to give it a try.
There was a long lineup outside, which is expected from all ramen joints in downtown. Peering though the windows, it had your regular communal bar tables in the middle, semi open kitchen and clean decor. The service seemed a bit slow, as all the servers just looked to be floating around, with tables yet to be clean. There wasn’t a sense of urgency needed to try and fit the people that were waiting outside to be seated.
Tonkotsu Black Ramen; original pork broth, pork belly char-siu, spinach, menma, green onions, fried onions, aji tama, seaweed, black garlic oil
Curry Rice Bowl
Right when we were seated, Fatboy was ready to order. Of course he went for the Black, and combo’ed it with his other favourite, curry rice bowl. The soup base was rich but not overly oily, you don’t smell the black garlic at first but once that black substance touches your tongue it’s like heaven. It is hard to explain, all I can say is that it was full of umami. The chasiu was also of decent size and had a good fat-to-meat ratio. The curry was decent, didn’t feel like it was made from scratch, probably Glico.
Don’t be frightened by the oils, it didn’t taste oily at all. This closeup was a special mention to the noodles that were used for their black garlic ramen, to my surprise it wasn’t the usual instant noodle looking ramen but the thin al dente ones! They were cooked just right, still having a nice chewy bite to it, it soaked up the soup very well.
Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen; pork belly char-siu, spinach, spicy bean sprouts, green onions, Japanese leek – level 10
Pork Gyoza; pork & cabbage dumplings
I defaulted to the spicy option on the menu. The server had to confirm me numerous times when I told her the spicy level I wanted for the ramen, and gave me fair warning that it is super spicy – I was both worried and excited. To my disappointment, it was not what she had warned me about, despite it being bright red it didn’t give much off much of a kick. It was not bad, but after having a bit of Fatboys I felt that I was cheated. I probably should have made the gyozas into a combo as well, since they weren’t anything special.
Another disappointment was the fully cooked aji tamas, more so for mine as I had to add that on. Also my noodles were not the thin one but the one used in most shops.
Lesson learned, only EVER order the black ramen here, everything else wasn’t bad, but not worth it with other equally good ramen places just couple minutes away in my honest opinion.