We finished our “business” earlier that day by dropping off our tax package with our financial advisor and meeting up with “La Reina’s” mom to pick up some outstanding baby gear. Now it was time to eat and to start off our day of Japanese cuisine exploration in Richmond. We decided to have lunch at G-Men Ramen, [3778 Sexsmith Road, #1101, Richmond, (778) 296-3779] and since neither “Monk” nor I have eaten there before and because I had been downing bacon cheeseburgers like they were going out of style for the past couple days, we decided to go check it out and eat somewhat healthier.
G-Men Ramen is owned by the Gyoza King group and is located in a nondescript Asian strip mall in Richmond. Being ramen aficionados and having checked out most of Vancouver’s ramen offerings, we were much overdue in visiting G-Men. When we arrived, there was a bit of a wait, but within 7.37 minutes, “Jazzy”, “Monk” and I were sat at a freshly cleaned table. We perused the menu and I ordered the torigara shoyu ramen, the tonkotsu ae soba and a mini donburi of shredded chashu and green onion. It turns out that at lunch only the torigara (chicken broth) ramen are available and at night only the tonkotsu (pork broth) is available. Since I usually use tonkotsu miso ramen as the benchmark for most ramen shops, I was forced to try something completely different.
Within a few minutes the mini donburi arrived and after snapping off a quick photo on the iPhone, I dove in. The taste of the rice was delicious, perfectly seasoned and a nice combination of pork, nori and green onion. The rice was a tad overcooked, but it was super tasty. Our bowls of ramen arrived right after and we immediately tucked in. Mine looked and smelled extremely appetizing. The broth was nice and clear with just a touch of oil bubbling on the surface. There was wood ear mushrooms, green onion, half of a perfectly cooked soft-boiled egg, toasted nori and two slices of lovely chashu as toppings. The clean taste of the broth was very enjoyable and texture of the ramen was very good. I have never had ramen with wood ear mushrooms and found the texture to be very complimentary to the bowl of noodles. The egg was really nice and when I had a bite with a little of every component and a big slurp of soup, I found it very tasty. The pork was cooked nicely, had great flavor and was a good balance of fat and lean meat. The tonkotsu ae soba was a “soupless” ramen with the exact same toppings as the previous, but dressed with a warm reduced pork broth and an interesting shrimp paste, drizzled over the pork. This bowl of ramen was very tasty as well and though I had never had a bowl of ramen such as this, I found it extremely comforting and enjoyable. The flavors were very good and the pungent kick of the shrimp paste added a rich umami profile to the bowl of noodles. As a person who rarely drinks much of the ramen broth, I found this style of ramen “quite up my alley.” I don’t know if we were “super hungry or what”, but we ate quickly, paid our bill and were out the door in less than 20 minutes.
Issues and concerns; I don’t really have any. The service was very competent since we arrived right after the lunch rush. The flavors were very good and the value seemed quite good as well. Compared to our favorite ramen shops downtown in Ramen-land, I think the G-Men ramen holds up extremely well. Though I don’t like eating noodles for dinner, we will return in the not-so-distant future and try G-Men’s dinner offerings.
On my chef’s night out scale, G-Men Ramen receives 3.5/5 SOB (slices of bacon).