When it comes to ramen, there are many options in Vancouver, and some taste better than the others. For example, you can always see a long line up at Ramen Danbo regardless of time and day. Or some are hidden like this one, Gyo Para Gyoza & Ramen Bar. It is a spacious restaurant that is located in the heart of Kitsilano on the corner of West Broadway and Arbutus Street. Although the ramen bar is on such a busy street, it can be easily missed, but the handmade gyoza and ramen are what Brenda and I are coming for.
I was invited to a media tasting, and I tried few items on the menu, including the Organic Hojicha, the signature appetizers, Original & Veggie Gyoza, and two bowls of ramen, Premium Tonkotsu Ramen and Cold Ramen.
We started off our meal with the organic hojicha, sourced from a nearby tea shop, O5 Rare Tea Bar. This Japanese tea comes in a small pot, and it is toasty and mild, which makes the perfect drink to start off the meal.
For the appetizers, of course we ordered the handmade gyoza here – Original and Veggie flavor. The gyoza is freshly made, with a crispy bottom. The delicate layer of skin wraps around the juicy and flavourful fillings. The pairing sauce is also made in house, with some chili oil, white rice vinegar, chili flakes, etc. Between the two flavors, I prefer the veggie gyoza (surprisingly!), because it is lighter in flavor. When dipping into the sauce, the flavor is complete. They look vibrant, and the fillings don’t taste like veggie at all!
The ramen here is mostly customizable, from the amount of lard, noodle thickness, and its firmness. Cold Ramen only offers in medium for noodle thickness, and customers can have a choice of shoyu or sesame sauce. The bowl looks vibrant and refreshing, with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, wakame (seaweed), and ginger as toppings. It also includes a soft-boiled egg and chashu. I found the sesame sauce to be quite heavy after few bites, so I might go for the shoyu sauce next time. Also, I prefer going for “standard” for the noodle firmness. Otherwise, I love the generous amount of toppings and the super flavorful and tender chashu.
Our last dish finally came, and it is a bowl of Premium Tonkotsu Ramen. We chose the hand kneaded (temomi) noodles, which have a firmer and chewier texture. According to Chef Alex, they can get soggy easily comparing to other noodles, as they are hand-kneaded. The soup is absorbed into the noodles, so it is very important to take your photos quickly. The pork broth is light, with no MSG. I really enjoy the soft-boiled egg, because they seasoned them very well. Chashu is more tender than the one in the cold noodles. Each element is cooked and seasoned perfectly.
Compared to other chain restaurants, this ramen bar is definitely above average. I was surprised to see hand kneaded ramen and house-made gyoza in Vancouver. Overall, I enjoyed the Tonkotsu Ramen, because each element in the bowl is seasoned well. Noodles are firm and chewy, and I won’t feel heavy after finishing the entire bowl. For the gyoza, I recommend going for the veggie one. The ramen bar also offers a wide selection of vegetarian options for ramen, so I would definitely go back and try other dishes.
Taste : 4.5/5 • Service: N/A • Ambiance: 4/5 • Quality-Price: 4.5/5
|Gyo Para Gyoza & Ramen Bar | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter|
|Address: 2120 West Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6K 2C8|
Tue to Fri: 11:30 am to 3 pm; 5 pm to 10 pm
Sat to Sun: 11:30 am to 10 pm
Disclosure: Media Tasting