Lunch at Jinya Ramen Bar
Whoops! I did it again.
This post has been sitting in my drafts for weeks and weeks. I really need more hours in the day my dears.
In fact, I can't remember how long ago it was that I was meeting my friend Krista for lunch and mimosas in The Blue Dome District on a particularly sweltering hot Sunday. Jinya has been open for quite a while in my current hometown and I just hadn't made the time to get there. I also need to admit to you that I am super late to the Ramen game. (In my defense it always reminded me of my broke college days where I lived off the terrible instant stuff) But Krista loves this place and I typically trust and love her recommendations. She's a gypsy traveler like me and we adore places in Tulsa that transport us somewhere else. She also just recently went vegan and they have a vegan Ramen!
I have Lin addicted too!
Jinya has those big city vibes and I instantly feel like I am in San Francisco or Seattle when I am there. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that it is a larger chain located in various big city locations. I typically skip chains but there a few out there I make an exception for and Jinya is at the top of this list.
I am so excited to have one just minutes from my condo.
(Taken from Jinya's site)
Anyone from Japan can tell you: Real Japanese ramen isn’t about the noodles, it’s about the broth.
That’s why JINYA Ramen Bar’s signature stocks take center-stage on our menu. Slowly simmered for more than ten hours, we combine whole pork bones, chickens or vegetables with just the right amount of bonito, dashi, kombu and other authentic ingredients. The result is a rich broth that is thick, full-flavored, healthful… and unforgettable.
However, we believe that there’s still more to ramen than broth. We take our noodles seriously, too. Meticulously aged for three days to maximize their flavor, JINYA Ramen Bar’s noodles are made fresh daily and crafted to sink perfectly in your bowl with thick noodles for some broths and thin noodles for others.
At JINYA, we give you the ideal palate to customize with an array of traditional toppings and tapas on the side. Choose from pork, chicken or our vegetarian broth, as well as from spinach noodles. Plus, JINYA’s focus on kaizen – the Japanese practice of continuous improvement – means that you’ll always experience the best ramen out there. We’re constantly creating new flavor combinations and challenging our already high standards to continually hone our craft, because we’re crazy about ramen.
Taste Japan from the other side of the world. Welcome to JINYA, a bowl above all others.
I was so happy that I was there with a regular as I must admit I would have been a bit lost. I think the servers figure that everyone has been before or knows everything about Ramen. So it's no surprise to me many of my friends who went had a bad experience. So I am going to give you the Ramen secrets that Krista taught me so you can try it again and just grab the bull my the horn so -to-speak. (But come on Jinya servers---clean this part up and I promise you will be much more successful)
So here are the things that made my Ramen experience at Jinya amazing and have me craving a return visit every week.
- Request a garlic press with your Ramen and don't be shy. I add three whole cloves to my bowl.
- Use noodle-eating etiquette. They say that perfect noodles will only last for five minutes after they are added to the hot broth—any longer than that and they become overcooked and mushy—so as a patron, it's your duty to start eating as soon as the bowl is delivered and not stop until you're finished; Hence the wild slurping you'll find in a typical Japanese ramen shop. So slurp slurp and do not stop slurping. Don't be shy.
Ask for kaedama, an extra serving of noodles to be added to the leftover broth in your bowl to take home. This gives you a whole extra meal. And it's only an extra $2.50.
Experiment with various toppings. Toppings on bowls of ramen are more than an afterthought. For many shops, it's their defining characteristic. Toppings can vary from simple vegetables and seasonings to far more complex meats and sauces that must be prepared separately and in advance. So don't be afraid to switch it up every-time you go!
Put an egg on it. Eggs and ramen go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. It's hard to imagine one without the other. A good soft boiled or poached egg is my favorite!
Spice it up. I start slow here. And work my way up--there is nothing worse than having a bowl of broth that is so spicy that it just hurts. You can always keep adding but you cannot take away.
So I am obsessed with the Brussel sprouts tempura on the small plates and the Wonton Chicken Ramen.
And I love love love the takeout window!! Sometimes I just want to grab take out and not be seen.
What are your favorites??!!!!