A Different Dip
Tsukemen so slurp worthy
At shop GoJiro
As I looked up from my seat, I spotted a black and white portrait of who I believe to be a young Kazuo Yamagishi, the inventor of Tsukemen and founder of the Taishoken chain of ramen shops in Japan.
I took this as a good sign. I had specifically returned to Ramen GoJiro for their tsukemen. When I first visited, the shop was only selling their gatsuri ramen with its bounty of bean sprouts. However given Menya Kouji affiliations with the inventor of dipping ramen, Yamagishi san, I was curious how GoJiro’s tsukemen would be. The other Menya Kouji outlet, Ramen Butcher, serves a distinct and tasty seafood based version.
In addition, I was searching for a new delicious tsukemen as I feel Vancouver’s Taishoken’s (not affiliated with the Japanese chain) version has become very mediocre.
On the Ramenn GoJiro menu, it said their tsukemen was just like in Japan. Hmm I wonder what this means? Time to find out!
First off they brought me vinegar, which I thought was unique, as I haven’t experienced that before in Vancouver area. Second the serving of thick noodles was very ample which is how it’s done in Japan.
The broth had a slight thickness like au jus but not like gravy. It had a distinct sweet and savoury taste. The sweetness reminded me of mirin or a sweet soy sauce, and Asian stews in general. I find that Asian meat stews, although savoury often have a touch of sweet. In contrast European stews are umami contrasted with herbiness or wine.
The addition of the provided vinegar further enhanced the sweet flavour. I felt the edible acid cancelled out or subdued the saltiness of the broth. Another flavour booster that was given was a dark green paste that I initially thought was wasabi. It was spicy but also had a fragrant yuzu taste to it as well, and it added some pop to the dish.
The seasoned egg was the right gooey consistency but I felt it was overly salty. I also didn’t like the chicken karaage that I got. The piece of chicken was huge but I felt it was a bit on the dry side and was not properly coated/battered so there were bald spots lacking crunchiness. It’s the same issue I had with the deep-fried chicken when I first visited this ramen-ya. I think next time I will stick with the pork cha su.
Two thirds of the way through my meal, as I struggled to finish the volume food, the server brought a kettle of soup wari. The soup wari is a light broth that is used to help the dilute the heavier tasting dipping broth so that the diner can savour the every last drop of the dipping broth.
I give GoJiro props for presenting this thermos to me as the ramen shops that I visited for my Tsukemen Food Rumble
failed to do that. The soup had just a very faint earthy shitake mushroom taste.
As much I liked GoJiro’s Jiro style ramen with its mountain of bean sprouts, it doesn’t draw me in like their tsukemen, which I gladly & eagerly would return for.
The dipping ramen served at Ramen GoJiro is utterly filling and delicious. I wish this were available when I was doing my tsukemen challenge, as the results would have looked different. Depending on my mood, I would waffle back and forth between Ramen GoJiro and the Ramen Butcher’s as serving the best tsukemen downtown.
501 Dunsmuir Street
604 673 0918