“If I were trapped in one city and had to eat one nation’s cuisine for the rest of my life, I would not mind eating Japanese. I adore Japanese food. I love it.” ~ Anthony Bourdain
A Ramen Bar? Who would’ve thought! When I heard Ramen, the first thing that came to my mind was the Ramen Noodle Soup packets, which were once sold for about 4 or 5 for one dollar – probably more now. Therefore, it caught me by surprise to hear there are restaurants specializing in Ramen noodle soups.
Though uncertain about what to expect, my husband and I accepted our son’s invitation to eat at Jinya Ramen Bar on 8 N Summerlin Ave in Orlando. The restaurant is on the first floor of a 5-story residential building. There is a parking garage around the corner with an exit just a few feet from the restaurant.
The restaurant has a clean, sleek, contemporary decor. The interior feels cozy and though it seems small; it holds plenty of soup eaters. Jinya Ramen Bar has an exterior terrace with plenty of tables, too. It is also a perfect place for your social gathering since it features a full bar.
According to Jinya Ramen Bar’s website, their broth is slow-cooked for 20-hours for a thick flavored, rich broth. You can choose the broth from pork bones, chicken, and vegetables and customize it with a variety of ingredients available and their handmade noodles.
When we arrived, there was a waitlist of about 20 minutes, which is not bad compared to other places. A good sign that the restaurant was worth the wait was the constant arrival of customers willing to be added to the waitlist. They seem to be short of staff since they have a “Hiring” sign next to the entrance. Even though they were short staffed and it was a busy day, the staff was polite and efficient.
Once seated, we looked at the menu, which, like many other restaurants, was to be read by the QR reader on your phone. It makes sense. After all, people are always on their cell phones. Might as well eliminate the paper menus and have customers look at the menu on their phones.
For appetizers, we opted for the Takoyaki Octopus Ball – a battered octopus topped with kewpie mayonnaise, okonomiyaki sauce, with green onion and smoked bonito flakes sprinkled over it. All served over a bed of egg tartar. Though our serving was not as clean as the menu’s, it did not take away from the flavor. It was simply scrumptious!
Our soup choices were: the Jinya Chicken Ramen, Wonton Chicken Ramen, and the Spicy Chicken Ramen. Very different from the Ramen Soup packets. Though the soup bowl looks small, it was quite filling. It had just the right amount of spices, noodles, and other ingredients. One of the best soups I have ever tasted and nothing like the soup packets.
It’s soup, right? So there’s plenty of space to indulge in a Japanese-style dessert. So what better than going for the Panna Cotta and Chocolate Mochi Ice Cream? Both were great choices and good but not my favorite desserts.
We cannot eat at a Japanese restaurant and forget the sake. They had a few varieties, but since we sat outside on the terrace and the weather was in the 60s, we opted for the hot sake. A perfect match for our choice of soup.
Jinya Ramen Bar prices are in the medium range. Our dinner ranged between $80 – $85 for an appetizer, three entrees, three desserts, and sake – not including the tip. Not bad for a party of three.
Are you still doubting? Don’t take my word for it. I suggest you take a ride to Jinya Ramen Bar and decide for yourself.