- Address: 399 Church St, Toronto
- Visited: 08/19/2016, Dinner, 2 people
- Cuisine: Japanese
- Rating: 4.0 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
- Website: http://jinya-ramenbar.com/
While in Vancouver last year, I dragged my friends on a mini ramen tour of the city. I had grand plans for an afternoon filled with noodles, but my eyes were far bigger than my stomach and we only managed to hit two noodle shops. One of them was Jinya, where I had a pretty good bowl of ramen. When I saw signs for Jinya pop up in Toronto, I was excited to see if the West Coast import would relocate well. Back in August, after a night of Pokemon hunting, The Hubby and I stopped by Jinya for a late second dinner.
Atmosphere: Maybe because it was a Friday night or maybe because we’re getting old, but I found Jinya very loud. Music was blasting and we struggled to hold a conversation, to the point where we gave up. Inside the restaurant, there were high communal tables with bar stools, bar seats along the windows, bar seats looking into the kitchen and a handful of small square tables. Decor was industrial with wood grain, metal and geometric accents.Stacks of ramen bowls decorated the bar.
Service: I was worried there would be a line but we had no trouble getting a table. Our server was efficient and took our orders over the blaring music. After a few minutes, she came by to apologize for the wait, which we hadn’t even noticed. The two bowls of ramen arrived piping hot.
Food: Being late, we skipped the side dishes and only ordered ramen. The Hubby chose the Cha Cha Cha with pork broth, while I tried the Spicy Chicken Ramen with chicken broth. Although the menu said the Cha Cha Cha was for garlic lovers, we weren’t sure where the garlic came in. The bowl of ramen came by default with pork chashu, a seasoned egg, bean sprouts and thick noodles. I liked the texture of the noodles and the chewiness. When it came to toppings, the Chashu was fatty and flavourful. However, without adding additional toppings, the default ones were pretty basic. As for the broth, each spoonful was rich and fatty without being oily. I did prefer my chicken broth more though.
The Spicy Chicken Ramen came with chicken chashu, spinach, bean sprouts, green onion and thin noodles. I added an Onsen Tamago, poached egg, for $1, which was a great decision. I really liked the thin noodles with my lighter broth. The texture of the noodles were chewy without being soft and bouncy. I’m always surprised by how rich and savoury a chicken based broth can be. At Jinya, the chicken broth was all of those things, flavourful and had a touch of heat (I chose the mild level of spice).
Both bowls of ramen had a good amount of salt. I guzzled a few glasses of water at the restaurant, and a few more when I got home. Portions of noodles felt smaller than other ramen shops in Toronto. Overall, Jinya serves up a solid bowl of ramen, but it feels like something was lost in transit from West coast to Toronto.. I’m unsure if I’d go out of my way to visit, but I would think of them if I was nearby.