Ramen Gojiro: Jiro-style ramen (with fried chicken) hits Vancouver

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(LIndsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Don’t be surprised if you see a line snaking around the outside window of Ramen Gojiro. This small, sparse ramen shop at the corner of Dunsmuir and Richards has been open just a couple of weeks, but is already drawing crowds for a taste of their unique signature ramen.

Spicy with Chashu (LIndsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Spicy with Chashu (LIndsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Combining heaps of thick ramen noodles with loads of toppings, the menu is small but mighty at Ramen Gojiro. The restaurant takes its name from the style of ramen–jiro, or gatsuri-style, and they say they are the first in Canada to serve this over-the-top Japanese broth-y, noodle-y, slurpy good dish.

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Ramen options are split into four core categories: Basic, Basic Bakamori, Spicy, and Spicy Bakamori. Within each of those categories the proteins available are Chashu pork or Karaage (fried chicken). Basic and Spicy are all about broth, meat, noodles, bean sprouts, and fried garlic, while the Bakamori bowls come with more of everything–a lot more.

There are plans to add Tsukemen (cold dipping noodles) at a later date. Simple sides, like gyoza or karaage, are available, but the main event are the big, steamy bowls of ramen.

Noodles (LIndsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Noodles (LIndsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Speaking of steam, things definitely heat up, thanks to Ramen Gojiro’s central dish, the floor to ceiling windows on the corner property, and the tight quarters–add on spoonfuls of the fiery red and garlicky Spicy broth and you might want to dress for the occasion in short sleeves. Don’t worry–the server will offer you an apron.

The karaage is juicy, nicely seasoned, and has a great crispy coating (that admittedly gets a little soggy once it hangs out in the broth a bit). The spicy broth is a fiery punch, though a bit on the oily side (that chili oil, baby!). If it’s date night, you guys had better both eat the garlic, because it does linger on the palate, offering a sweet-funky note in the ramen.

Basic Bakamori with Karaage (LIndsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Basic Bakamori with Karaage (LIndsay William-Ross/Vancity Buzz)

Ramen Gojiro is the latest from Menya Kouji, the same Japanese-based company behind Chinatown’s Ramen Butcher. They’re open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Ramen Gojiro

Address: 501 Dunsmuir Street
Phone: 604-673-0918
Instagram: @ramengojiro

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Lindsay William-Ross Lindsay is a Senior Editor at Vancity Buzz, and currently runs the site's Food section. A fourth generation Vancouverite, she spent the last two decades in Los Angeles, where she was EIC of the city's top blog, earned her MA, attended culinary school, and was an English professor (among other things). Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancitybuzz.com
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