The very first ramen house that I went to was Kinton Ramen, the one located on Baldwin Street. I remember back then (this was my very early foodie days), there was a lot of hype about this ramen house — how there was a lot of waiting time to get a table and you could be a “Kinton Bowler” if you finished the entire bowl including the soup (you got a picture taken too).
Fast forward to now and I’ve been to many, many ramen houses around the GTA and blogged about many of them too. Kinton Ramen has been so popular among Torontonians that there are now
four five Kinton Ramen’s around the city. This one in North York on Yonge Street is one of the newer ones to open and they have distinctly named it as “Kinton Ramen 4”. Hehe, it’s rather cute that way. I wonder if they will ever open up to 10? :O
Nicole and I met up here for a quick dinner before we headed out to watch a movie at the nearby Cineplex. We got here at 5:30 p.m. and the place was not full yet — the noodle bar was completely free. I noticed that this location of Kinto Ramen was a lot more spacious than the one at Baldwin Street downtown and it was nicer this way too. The same wood-chip wall exists (their signature look) and the staff all greet you loudly in Japanese when you enter and also when you leave the restaurant.
The hostess asked me how many for a table, and I said two. She asked if my friend was going to be here soon and I said yes, so she led me to a table. I think if I said that Nicole wasn’t going to be here yet, she was going to seat me at the noodle bar instead of a table for two. I like how the chairs at Kinton Ramen are multi-functional — you not only sit on them but they have a spot underneath the seat for you to put your belongings too. It’s extremely convenient, especially for ladies to put their purses or large bags!
Kinton Ramen’s menu is quite simple — you order either pork or chicken as the meat, choose the soup base, thick or thin noodles, and whether you want any extra toppings. Add in an appetizer or drink and you’re good to go.
Nicole recommended the chicken breast regular ramen to me, so I tried it out. I usually don’t choose chicken as the meat for ramen, but I definitely wanted to try it out. There’s a first time for everything! I chose the thin noodles since the menu recommended thin ones for if you’re choosing chicken.
I also ordered a side dish of the tofu nuggets. I remember these tofu nuggets fondly after my first visit to Kinton Ramen. I wanted to relive them and see if they were still as delicious as that first time.
I think next time that I am at a ramen house like this, I will ask to sit at the counter where I can watch the chefs make the noodles.
When our bowls of noodles arrived, it was steaming hot. I love that! My bowl of chicken breast ramen came with some nori clinging to the side (eat it quickly before it gets too soaked by the hot soup), two slices of chicken breast, a well poached egg, and thin ramen noodles in a yellow and creamy soup broth. The broth was hot and definitely tasted like chicken! There were bits of chicken meat inside the broth too — that way you could definitely tell that the broth contained chicken in it.
I really liked the chicken breast slices as they were very tender and not rough at all. It went well with the ramen and noodles. The thin ramen noodles were pretty good too.
The Tofu Furai (tofu nuggets) arrived. There were four pieces on a bed of salad with dressing. I liked the slight spicy sauce that the tofu nuggets were covered with. The tofu nuggets were also freshly made and hot when they arrived to our table. They were very delicious just as I remembered! However, I think the first time that I had it was the best because I didn’t expect it to be so good.
We finished our meal in about half an hour and during the 45 minutes that we were there, there were a lot of customers who arrived and completely filled up the noodle bar. Nicole (she’s a frequent customer here) said that it gets quite busy here during the day and the staff make you stand outside to line up if there’s too many people inside. What a popular ramen house!
I’m really glad that I got to try Kinton Ramen again and say that I’ve been to their fourth store now. Yay! 🙂
Have you tried this ramen house before? What is your opinion of it?