Jin Ramen – West Harlem

Jin Ramen is a cool space right by the 1 train at the W 125th station. I have passed it quite a number of times, but now finally ate there. The restaurant itself has a decently pleasant atmosphere. It is relatively small, but comfortable. It couldn’t possibly be closer to the 1 train, as it is literally right there as you exit the station.


I usually am not a big fan of ramen, so I actually ordered the pork buns and a chicken rice bowl called Katsu Don. I have very high expectations for pork buns, and I absolutely generally adore them. However, Jin Ramen’s pork buns fell short. They were decent, and I ate them out of sheer hunger. But, they were generally bland, cold, and lacked some much-needed sauce. The true winner’s pork buns  belong to the restaurant called Ippudo. The purple cabbage salad on the side was also remarkably un-extraordinary.


Nonetheless, I was hopeful for my rice bowl. I was also starving. The rice bowl was actually very satisfying, but there is definitely room for improvement. The chicken itself was breaded, tender, and well-seasoned. It came with all sorts of vegetables and some egg. I was very pleased by this upper layer of my rice bowl. However, once all of those goodies are consumed, you are left with rice. Being left with rice would be fine if the rice had some character; however, the rice you are left with is regular white rice. Jin Ramen could definitely amp up their game by instead filling the bowl with seasoned and spiced rice, which would add a new level of depth to their dish. Therefore, the dish was overall satisfying, but could definitely be better. The presentation was appealing, and the portion size was more than enough for me. My friend ordered a vegetable rice bowl, but was also unimpressed by some lack of seasoning and the presentation of regular white rice.


Overall, I had a positive experience at Jin Ramen. Maybe it was because it was snowing a blizzard outside and I was absolutely starving, but I believe I would come back. I did enjoy the rice bowl very much, but ironically the rice itself could use some work. Furthermore, my high expectations for pork buns were not met, and therefore… Ippudo will still win in my heart. It is a great place to eat if you are heading for that 1 train though.



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