Thursday, February 7, 2013

Kinton Ramen (Toronto)

There seems to me to be a global ramen craze going on these days.  Ramen, a traditional homemade noodle dish often found in casual settings like izakayas and noodle bars in Japan, is popping up everywhere these days. In just the past few months, Toronto has seen the opening of several restaurants dedicated to ramen, and they are always jam packed.

I visited Kinton Ramen for a late lunch one day. Unlike Momofuku, which I would categorize as Asian-inspired, Kinton Ramen is very authentic. The atmosphere is izakaya-like, where the staff shouts what sounds to me like "irashaimase" ("welcome" in Japanese) any time a new patrons enter. (The same folks own Guu Izakaya.)  The space at Kinton Ramen is long and narrow.  I nabbed a seat overlooking the open kitchen, which is always a fun spot to be.

Kinton Ramen (Toronto)
Ramen chef delivers a bowl from the open kitchen

I decided to try a Miso Ramen, made with soybean paste, bean sprout, scallion, corn, and garlic oil.  It comes with the customer's choice of either pork shoulder or pork belly; I selected the pork shoulder based on the waiter's recommendation.  You can also choose the richness of the broth, from light to regular to rich (rich for me).

For $9.50, this ramen is quite a bit less pricey than Momofuku's.  The pork was juicy and flavorful and the fresh noodles were excellent as well.  I felt the broth was a bit more bland compared to Momofuku's, however.

Miso Ramen with Pork Shoulder at Kinton Ramen (Toronto)
Miso Ramen with Pork Shoulder ($9.50)

On the whole, it was a pretty decent bowl of ramen for under $10, and now my interest in ramen is officially piqued.  On my next visit to Toronto I will have to check out a couple more of the newest ramen bars in town.

Restaurant info:
Kinton Ramen
51 Baldwin St, Toronto, ON M5T 1Y9
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