Always eager to try a new ramen place, we headed over to Jyuban Ramen House on a quiet Thursday afternoon. Located inside Commerce Gate plaza, Jyuban is easy to miss due to its menu-plastered windows and the inner mall entrance.
Jyuban’s emphasis is on their natural ingredients – with no MSG, chemically bleached flour, preservatives, or potassium carbonate used in the noodles or broth. Also interesting to note is Jyuban’s “loyalty card” that is usable on the next visit – if you spend over $7.95, then you receive the free dish listed.
Although their lunch menu was tempting, we decided to order off the main menu. A ordered the super bowl, which combined all three of their homemade noodles, egg, spinach and squid ink. A seemed to enjoy it, trying the three different noodles separately and together.
I ordered my must-try at any ramen place, the tonkotsu – pork bone ramen. Adorned with the usual toppings, the thin slices of pork were my favourite, as they were flavourful unlike the sad, cold pieces offered at other restaurants. The all-natural noodles were a pale brownish colour and somewhat spaghetti like, but still had the chewiness found in its bouncier processed counterparts. However, the most important aspect (to me) is the broth, the liquid porky essence to which the noodles and toppings are only accompaniment. Sadly the soup was missing the intense porky flavour I was craving, replaced by a more subtle broth.
Some argue that the weak broth is due to the lack of MSG, but other ramen places also do not use MSG, and have not sacrificed any flavour. Jyuban may not be the best ramen I’ve ever had, but with their “natural” promise and interesting loyalty card program, I’d probably go back.