G-MEN Ramen Shop G-麵 – CLOSED

Update Jan. 8, 2014: This restaurant is now closed.

G-MEN Ramen Shop

FIRST POST!  I had to let that out! I have been wanting to post for a while, to finally take the jump into the world of blogging.

Let’s get right down to business.  After moping around and thinking of where to eat for dinner, we have decided to go to G-MEN (no relation to the comic).  G-men is located in Continental Centre and an easy find once you get in the parking lot.  According to Wendy, G-Men only opened yesterday – that explains the Grand Opening Flowers at the front of the store.

G-MEN Ramen Shop

The towels that hung in front of the door, the wooden theme of the place definitely had a Japanese feel to it.   The place was pretty busy when we got there and we were shown two seats at the bar.

G-MEN Ramen Shop menu

The menu arrived quickly but the options were quite limited (Wendy had a beef with the fact that their menus were just printed and placed in an A4 sheet protector).  The top three options you see there are the three types of ramen bowls available (there are rice dishes on the back).  Unfortunately, our server let us know very quickly that only one option is left.

We ordered two of the Tonkotsu Ramen and one order of Takoyaki (4 pcs).   Here’s where the fun begins!  It took a pretty long time for the food to come.  We looked around the place after 15 minutes and there were only two tables that needed servicing.  Wendy was getting pretty darn impatient (probably because we were starving!).  Finally the food comes!

G-MEN Ramen Shop: Tonkotsu Ramen with Takoyaki

The most interesting part of this picture is the Takoyaki (can you find it?).  It’s right there on the top left in the picture.  We both thought that it was going to come as a separate appetizer but it turns out to be an extra topping!  The soup base was very strong at first but became quite salty as time went on (and lovely pieces of pork fat floating about).  The ramen itself to me where a bit too ‘elasticky’ but Wendy thought they were good.  There were very limited  toppings as there was only ONE piece of pork, some black fungus and a wedge (yes, a wedge) of seaweed.  Other/extra toppings were available for additional cost (of course).  That cost us $8/bowl (there were options for a bigger bowl for $1.50 and 4 pieces of ChaShiu $2.50).   It is pretty easy to conclude that we were overcharged for what we got.

The experience overall was less than average at G-Men.  Considering that the business was opened by the people from Gyoza King, we thought it could have been much better.  The service was friendly but not speedy enough.  The food itself was average and didn’t stand out compared to Motomachi Shokudo.  Wendy was especially upset about the limited options we had for ramen types as it was only 7:40pm on their SECOND day and they were supposed to be a specialty ramen place.  The bowl sizes are considerably smaller than other places ($1.50 more for a bigger bowl was available) and they had the audacity to put ONE piece of pork!  ONE!  Come on now!  We are paying $8 for a kid’s bowl of ramen, some fungus, some seaweed and one piece of pork?  That didn’t sit well with us where value was a concern.  I thought we were finally able to hunt down a decent ramen place in Richmond so we don’t have to trek to downtown as much anymore.  Unfortunately, that dream was not realized today; our never ending adventure to find the best ramen in town will continue…..

G-Men on Urbanspoon

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23 Responses

  1. Continental square as in the same square/plaza that has Ellie/Pearl Castle?

    Hm…G-Men makes me think of GMAN and RIZK…ha.

    Takoyaki in the soup ..what a waste.

  2. What a shame! one would expect a much higher standard of ramen from the people of gyoza king! give them some time and hopefully they gradually straighten things out. ill be sure to check out g-men then.
    how would you compare the ramen here to the 3 shops on robson/denman or Menya? i have yet to find a better place than moto.

    • Well Kintaro I’ve never really enjoyed just because of the bits of pork fat that they use (although that’s what gives it the flavor). I also feel that they’re more expensive for a simple bowl of ramen. Ezogiku used to be our fav but ever since the management change it has not been the same. Flavor-wise has been watered down, and I really don’t enjoy the toppings they use now (cabbage shreds and imitation crab?? I want my corn and bamboo shoots!!!). Benkei and Menya, I have yet to try.

      • Hello there, If you really like Japanese ramen with Tokyo style, you should go to Deli Nippon.
        http://www.dinehere.ca/restaurant.asp?r=4986
        G-man, Motomochi, Menya, Ajisen, Benkei, Kintaro, their soup are all based on Pork.

        Deli Nippon is only one in Vancouver that serves ramen with Chicken base soup. So you should have Shoyu ramen at this place. Also they serve Okonomiyaki, that are very rare in Vancouver.

        • Hrm….. I’ve never really liked Ajisen, and I don’t think Benkei is all that good.

          And actually, Motomachi Shokudo (less than a block away from Kintaro) uses chicken broth.

  3. I have been waiting to try G-men but after your review, I think I’ll pass. An alternative to those great ramen shops in Vancouver is Ajisen at Parker Place. Have you tried it yet? I love their $1 appys you can order with your entree.

    They’re a ramen chain from Japan and will do if you can’t get out to Vancouver.

    My current ramen favs are motomachi and menya.

    • The name Ajisen although is popular in Japan, the taste doesnt deliver in the one located at Parker Place. Their noodle taste like something you can retrieve out of an instant noodle package. I havent tried Gmen yet, but Kintaro has never been my fav. It was hyped up, claiming it is the authentic Japanese flavored noodle soup – but anyone that has been to Japan to actually try out what the ramen taste like there locally, nothing here is comparable.

      Ajisen and Ezogiku are not even worth mentioning. If you want a deal (ie. the $1 appy), then you are just sacrificing your taste buds on bad tasting food.

  4. Hey Scott,

    Thanks for the feedback.

    However, since I won’t be going to Japan anytime soon, I think I am stuck with the ramen shops that we have in Vancouver.

    If you have found anything local that is better than the aforementioned places, please share.

    Thanks.

  5. My friend just sent me a msg about Gmen so I quickly googled it and stumbled onto your page. Thanks for such a great review..

    I found Menya to be very well priced for what you get…

    Kintaro is really good but I agree that the pork fat they throw in is a bit too much.

    Why can’t ramen be priced more like pho ! lol !

  6. One might debate about authenticity or ‘westernized’ cuisine. From my own experience with the years I was in Japan, here’s what I know: 95% of the Ramen shop only serves Ramen and with 3 choices is normal. (Every restaurant is specialized on something. Like you won’t find an izakaya serves ramen but not beer. that’s just wrong.) and one piece of cha-shu is perfectly normal.
    Ajisen is sub-par. And where are their chains located? I’ve never heard of them. Not to mention how I’ve never seen such menu & decoration in Japan.
    Ezogiku is medicore if I want to grab a quick bite. They have jambo & the cold chuka ramen which is something quite authentic.
    If you are looking for something better than Kintaro, I would just (always) go around the corner to Benkei on Robson across from Safeway. Everything just makes me feels like “home”. And it opens til 11pm! The hitoguchi (one bite) gyoza is just soooo good.
    One down side (same as G-men) is that they sometimes sold out their choices.

  7. I love G-Men ramen. The people there are friendly and the service is quite good. I think that now they have all the kinks worked out, it is pretty consistent. Food has always been good there and I’ve tried just about everything.,,,,,well half of the menu anyways.
    just wish there was more ramen. When I arrive alot of the good ones are already gone!!! I do give this place a thumbs up. My friend doesn’t like the aji in it and does say it has too much ajinomoto. (MSG).
    The rice dishes are great and reminds me of home cooking. Love the Natto!!!!

  8. I am so glad that I decided to try this place even though I initially wasn’t going to. My curiosity got the best of me and I always like to try a new place at least once.

    I really liked their interior decoration, sort of enviro-friendly meets hollywood. To explain, they use a lot of natural wood elements for their window ornaments and then they have these funny customized posters of their staff. Very funny. Their ramen counter looks like an outdoor noodle stall you might find in Japan.

    I like the overall ambiance of the place and it was very busy when I went there. I had the miso ramen and their noodles were nice and chewy and firm. There was only one piece of chasu, but it was enough for me. I also had a coupon from Klip which gives you a free toppping, so of course I chose the most expensive one, the wontons and they were pretty good (4).

    Overall, this is so far the best ramen shop in Richmond. I want to try their “famous” gyoza the next time I’m in.

    A couple of drawbacks is that it is a small place for the amount of customers that go, and they don’t serve hot tea, only cold water. Japanese tea is extra for $3. Oh well, you can’t get everything for free.

    • That sounds like a review! I think you should start your own food blog too! Since you eat at as (if not more) places as we do~

  9. I believe 1 piece of pork is standard for any ramen restaurant in the lower mainland (excluding Benkei which serves 2 or 3 small pieces if I remember correctly). I had the Miso Tonkotsu at G-men and thought it was quite up to par with the likes of Motomachi Shokudo, Kintaro and Benkei. In fact, their Miso surpasses Benkei’s bland Miso. Also, they seem to give you a piece of Nori for free while all the other Downtown ramen places don’t include it. If I were to place it anywhere, I’d say it is below Kintaro and Motomachi while surpassing Benkei.

  10. […] much else to complain.  I’m sure it won’t measure up to those Downtown ones (or even G-MEN to some people), but I’m satisfied, probably due to my last ramen […]

  11. Thanks Wendy, but that sounds like a lot of work and I would have to take pictures of everything I eat.

    I just want to eat.

    My friends have said the same thing because I’m always talking about new restaurant adventures.

  12. I went there on Saturday just before they opened at 5:30 pm. The ramen was actually quite good. There are 2 pieces of yummy pork with fat instead of just one that you had. I also ordered takoyaki and it came on a seperate bowl.

    I think it was just opening kinks that you encountered. You should give it another try. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

  13. […] I must say this is better Miso Ramen than Ezogiku.  In fact, it was better than Gyoza King’s G-MEN in Richmond.  The broth was richer, and actually tasted like […]

  14. no phone no.? FAIL

  15. I went to try their ramen with a friend a few days ago. I had a Shio ramen while my friend had a shoyu. We thought we’d try the chicken based ramens since many places don’t serve them. They have a 40 per day limit but we were there early.

    My Shio ramen was quite delicious. The noodles were firm and chewy, not too soft like some places and the toppings are decent. The chasu was delicious! Melted right in my mouth and there were 2 pieces. My only complaint is that the soup was quite salty after a few spoonfuls. Maybe it was just that day. I plan to return soon to try their tonkotsu ramen.

    I tried my friend’s Shoyu ramen as well and it wasn’t as salty.

    Overall, I would definitely go back because they do have decent food. I haven’t tried Benkei yet but I plan to in the future and possibly Motomachi.

    But I must say, I really don’t like Kintaro’s ramen. Last time I went, my soup was only lukewarm and the pieces of pork fat were starting to solidify in my bowl! It was quite gross. The noodles were nice and firm there too though but since I’m in Richmond, G-men is much more convenient for me.

  16. I don’t agree with this review… I sat down and got a Tonkotsu Ramen with takoyaki and gyoza and less than 5 minutes….

    And the takoyaki is not in the ramen, it comes as a side (at least, when I went last week.) And there were at least 4 pieces of chashu, too.

    • I agree that the ramen part of their Ramen bowl is good at G-men. However, I don’t want my ramen to be topped with a ton of MSG, so I don’t think I will go there again to pay $8 for a bowl full of MSG that gives me an epic allergy reaction. (I can assure you that I’m not allergic to pork bone, the veggie, and the mushroom in the bowl because my mom cooks them on a regular basis.)

      PS. I only got two pieces of very thin pork in my bowl. I’m a small eater and I don’t find myself full after eating that bowl. I waited 10 minutes for my bowl and it was 7:15pm.

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