Landing with a Thud: Ramen Gojiro

There’s a brick in my stomach right now.

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Blah blah blah Ramen Butcher blah blah thick noodles blah blah. Can you tell I feel totally blasé about this place? Maybe I’m picky. Maybe I’m jaded. This place wasn’t bad. In fact, some parts were very good. But taken as a whole it’s firmly in the middle of the pack, and not high enough for me to return any time soon. I guess the bar is pretty high right now, huh?

Ramen Gojiro is located on the same block as The Railway Club on Dunsmuir near Richards. That’s my frame of reference. I’d rather go for a beer at The Railway Club.

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Raarrwwww! The name is a play on the words jiro (as in the “jiro style” of ramen) and gojira (the Japanese word for “Godzilla”).

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Big plus with this place is that their menu is tight. Tsukemen isn’t available yet, so you can ignore that for now. Basically, this place only makes ONE kind of ramen — a pork and chicken-based shoyu ramen. It’s NOT tonkotsu (thank god). You can get your ramen with the usual chashu or with karaage on top. I guess it’s a new concept, putting fried chicken on your ramen, but I don’t get the Instagram OMFG reaction to it. You wanna eat waterlogged fried chicken with your ramen?

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The other page is basically the same as the first, except they make the broth spicy. There’s three levels of spiciness to choose from, mild spicy, spicy, and atomic breath (lol).

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Their basic bowl is already a pretty hearty serving.

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The bakamori option is simply their large size. I think most appetites will have a tough time finishing this bowl, especially if you order extra sides.

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Spicy option.

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Spicy large option. Simple.

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Karaage in a ramen place is actually kind of a rarity in Vancouver. They offer plain (original) or karaage served with tartar sauce, oroshi (grated daikon with ponzu), or spicy mayo with teriyaki. They also have housemade gyoza.

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Apart from extra toppings like ajitama (marinated egg), corn, and green onions, that’s it for the menu.

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Unfortunately they use disposable chopsticks here. The only tableside condiment is black pepper.

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Terispa Karaage ($5.75), drizzled with spicy mayo and teriyaki sauce. Almost good.

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Wicca doing the honours. The coating was nicely seasoned and very crunchy.

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However, even though it was dark meat, it was disappointingly dry. If they can keep the meat juicy, and it would be perfect. Very reasonable price for what you get though.

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Gyoza ($5.35) with shoyu and rayu dipping sauce.

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I liked the thin wrapper. Frying was ok too. Wish the sides didn’t get stuck to each other though.

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Overall flavour is quite good. They got the balance and seasoning right.

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Basic Chashu ($9.95) with a shit-ton of bean sprouts and some cabbage. If you love filler ingredients, you’re gonna love this bowl!

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I actually quite liked the chashu, especially the deeply flavoured skin. You can see it in the colour. It had the rich taste of sweet soy. The top layers of the chashu were moist and tender, but the bottom layer of meat was pretty tough. But at least they’re big slabs and fairly thick.

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Every bowl gets a dollop of of that shoyu garlic, which tastes basically like raw minced garlic with a bit of soy sauce. It’s POTENT stuff. Even mixed into the broth, you can taste the spicy raw garlic flavour coming through. Garlic fiends will love this.

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The broth is actually not as rich and heavy as people on Instagram are making it out to be. It not salty (thank god) and is a nicely balanced broth with soy and pork flavours being the most prominent with a bit of chicken to balance it out. The problem is the sheer amount of watery bean sprouts and cabbage. I really got tired and bored with the flavour about one third into the bowl, as it was predominantly noodles and bean sprouts with a bit of broth flavour. So in that respect, the proportions are a bit out of whack. I imagine that it’s even worse with the large bakamori size bowls, which come with a mountain of bean sprouts. The broth tasted good on its own, but in concert with the noodles and toppings, I wanted it to be richer, deeper, and more robust.

Their thick, housemade noodles also deserve mentioning. They’re really hearty and are cooked al dente. You can even see an al dente centre if you bite into a noodle and inspect the cross-section. I thought I’d love this noodle because I love firm, chewy noodles. But I gotta say that I didn’t love these noodles. I just got kinda full and bored with them after a while. I think these guys might be the Jethro’s Fine Grub of ramen.

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Wicca’s Spicy Chashu ($10.25) with added ajitama (marinated egg) and corn. She got the “spicy” option, which is their medium option.

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They did nail that egg. Wicca enjoyed the large portions and flavourful broth. None of us found the broth too fatty or oily, unlike some people on Instagram. Well, it’s no more oily than other local ramen places.

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This area is packed with international students. And they apparently love Snoopy. It get’s a bit hot and steamy in there.

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The broth looks rich, with chunks of fat floating in it, but really it didn’t taste rich enough to balance out all the bean sprouts. Not a bowl that I need to experience again, unfortunately. But others may love it if they have different priorities than me.

Ramen Gojiro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Addendum: For an alternate take on this same meal, check out Moyenchow’s post!

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