Ramen Gojiro: The Expansion of the Menya Kouji Group
I wrote about Richmond's newest ramen store not too long ago here, and here I am again introducing you to yet ANOTHER new ramen place and I'm definitely not complaining.
Ramen Gojiro is Vancouver's newest ramen addition which is managed under the same company's as Ramen Butcher in Chinatown (Menya Kouji Group)- which is quite obvious after noticing the design similarities between the two shops. However, unlike Ramen Butcher, Ramen Gojiro occupies a much smaller space and allows for a more cozy environment that most traditional ramen shops like to have.
Here, the Jiro-style ramen or Gatsuri-style ramen reigns supreme which is characterized by the mound of bean sprouts and bits of shredded cabbage. If you've played Ramen Sensei on Android or iOS, then you'll definitely recognize the pile of bean sprouts you get near the end of the game (yes I shamelessly love those sorts of games).
Ramen Gojiro spins off of the novel Gojiro which pays homage to the infamous Gojira/Godzilla and it's pretty cute how they try to continue the "monster" concept into their branding. As I write this post, Ramen Gojiro is still in its soft opening phase and is prepared to have its Grand Opening this Wednesday, March 2, with 11am-10pm as its regular hours.
If you've had the gyozas at Ramen Butcher, then you'll have an idea of how these might taste. Thin and slightly crispy skin with a big juicy chunk of steaming pork inside - simple but delicately delicious.
spicy bakemori ramen with chasu (Mild spice)
So as I mentioned above, Ramen Gojiro has a "monster" theme going on and it's evident even in the ramen - cause "monster" is fitting for the absolutely gargantuan size of the servings. With a giant mound of bean sprouts on top with ~6 pieces of thick and fatty slices of chasu, it's actually quite difficult to get access to the soup and noodles without knocking all the toppings onto the table.
The noodles themselves are thick (quite unlike most of the other noodles you'd get at ramen shops) and super chewy. The soup has deep pork flavours and is rich without being too thick. If you order the spicy version (mild spice in particular), you'll find that the heat comes more from chili oil than actual chili peppers themselves. The pork comes in thick slices and comprised of 75% fat - heavenly to say the least.
Now picture all that topped with a few handfuls of bean sprouts and you have a bowl of ramen that I shamefully admit defeat over. But it's not as bad as it seems since the Bakemono Ramen choices are actually the large version of the basic ramen choices. So if you're prone to being full fast, order the basic. You've been warned.
chasu bakemori ramen
This is the same ramen as mentioned above but without the spice. The broth had a noticeably stronger pork taste which I found myself almost finishing...
Ramen Gojiro may still only be in their soft opening phase, but after my first visit, I'm happy to say that I have a good feeling that they'll do well post-grand opening as well. I really like the ramen here (especially their noodles and broth) as it all tastes super hearty and comforting. The atmosphere here is also not too shabby and prices (at least for now) are super reasonable especially considering the size of the servings. Despite how they turn out to be after grand opening, I do feel that they are worth a visit.
R E V I E W.
+ food quality: 8.75/10
+ price/affordability: 8.5/10
+ atmosphere: 8/10
+ overall: 8.5/10