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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Address: 501 Dunsmuir Street