We were downtown looking for brunch, we were undecided so let our eyes do the choosing. Eventually we would land on ramen, having driven by a couple locations.
Having been before, I suggested Gojiro, remembering they had giant bowls of ramen; and I have not indulged in such a grandiose serving since the start of the pandemic.
So both my guest and I ordered their giant specials. I got the Basic Bakamori ramen and he the Spicy. The former was their basic ramen on steroids. Take their signature broth that was a balance between pork and chicken and make it either light or rich. Then pile it high with extra noodles, additional beansprouts, and your choice of chasu or karaage. Here, I went with the rich broth and the fatty slices of pork and added on a soft boiled egg and some nori. As excited as my eyes were, the mouth was disappointed. The flavours lacked. I remembered the broth being a lot more flavourful during my initial visit, so was immediately disappointed. Disappointed in having brought a guest in upon my own recommendation, and it wasn’t as good as I recalled it to be.
The serving was so bland that I had to ask for soy sauce and salt to self-season. Although our server did one better, and came back with a 1/4 full bottle of their ramen sauce. This was runny and tasty condiment that we would finish off between our two larger bowls. And once said broth was rejuvenated with flavour, it was better partnered with the chewy noodles, the crisp sprouts, and the fatty and tender slices of meat. You definitely have to like beansprouts with this one. I do for their texture and help in adding crunch to an otherwise softened dish. Therefore I relished the ability to eat giant scoops of it. My guest however, did not like the sprouts as much so deemed the ingredient more like a filler.
My guest’s Spicy Bakamori ramen was exactly the same as my original ramen above, but to it they added some heat. Spicy and sweet, choose to have the chillies a mild spicy, spicy, or atomic breath. We didn’t dare choose the last option. This was a rich, mildly spicy broth, with karaage and the addition of green onion and a softboiled egg. Here, we definitely liked the fried chicken chunks more, over the pork slices. They did a better job adding a different flavour profile and texture. As a whole, even though the spicy broth too required additional splashes of the ramen sauce, it was a lot more tastier that the original ramen. Out of the two, this would be the version I would order again.
Novelty aside, considering we both found our ramen bland, this would not be my first choice for my next ramen craving downtown.
01 Dunsmuir St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1Y4