Over the past years, many restaurants start to offer a handful of selections for vegan and vegetarian on their menu, and there is no exception in this famous ramen shop – JINYA Ramen Bar. Last year, they launched the Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen, and I regret not trying it earlier myself. Although I am not vegan, this vegan ramen is incredibly delicious. I have to admit that this ramen changes my previous impression of JINYA Ramen Bar. Recently, additional items are added to the vegan menu, which takes care of the different eating diets of the customers.
Our 4-course menu each comes with a drink pairing, prepared by the bartender, AJ.
Our first course is Vegan Taco. On the crispy taco shell made of wonton skin, it has soy meat from Beyond Meat, guacamole, and cilantro. It also comes with deep-fried onion and sea mushroom on the side. It is delicious, and I probably won’t notice that it is vegan if no one tells me. The crispy shell adds crunchiness, which pairs well with the dish.
Vegan Bun comes next. I love steamed bun, so I am excited to see JINYA’s take on a vegan dish. It is stuffed with pea protein patty from Beyond Meat, avocado, cucumber, and vegan mayonnaise. If you ever tried Beyond Meat burger, you can now try them in a different form at JINYA. I love the addition of avocado and cucumber, which gives both creamy and crunchy texture. However, I would prefer a spicy mayonnaise to spice up things a bit.
One of the main courses is the Vegan Rice Bowl. It is a plant-based rice bowl, with soy meat, corn, atsuage tofu, cilantro, pickled red onion, and fried broccolini over steamed rice. I was surprised that the tofu is served cold, and the rice bowl is not steaming hot. Apparently, this is meant to be served at room temperature, but if you prefer a steaming hot rice bowl, this may not be your best option.
They save the best for the last – Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen. It uses a vegetable broth and adds tofu, corn, green onion, crispy onion, spinach, and garlic chips in it. For seasoning, they use garlic oil, chili oil, and sesame seeds. The ramen is served with thick noodles. The broth is amazing and I kept sipping on it (I am not a soup drinker!). The garlic and chili oil makes the soup even more addicting. One thing that really stands out is the generous amount of silky, soft tofu. We are full after eating the ramen. If I were to come again, I would definitely add sides, such as ramen egg or chashu, to make this ramen even more flavourful.
To be honest, I was never a big fan of JINYA Ramen Bar, mainly because of its price. However, after that night, the new vegan menu items totally change my impression. Although it is still on a pricey side, the Spicy Creamy Vegan Ramen is something I would crave for every now and then. It is the best comfort food, especially in the winter. I really enjoy the Vegan Taco as well. I am fascinated by how they just set a higher standard for the vegan food out there.
Taste: 4.5/5 • Service: N/A • Ambiance: 4/5 • Quality-Price: 4/5