What a pleasure and privilege it was to attend another blogger event hosted by Stella and Kinka Family and dine at Kinton Ramen 5! Kinton Ramen was the very first Japanese ramen house to set foot in Toronto back in 2013. They were all the rage and everybody wanted to set foot in their first store on Baldwin Street (now dubbed “Kinton Ramen 1”) to slurp on their delicious ramen broths and become a Kinton Bowler. At the time of writing, there are now many more Japanese ramen houses in Toronto and Kinton Ramen has expanded their family to five stores in Toronto!
Since my first visit to Kinton Ramen 1 back in 2013, I have also been to Kinton Ramen 4 near Empress and actually most recently to Kinton Ramen 5 just two weeks ago. I have enjoyed their ramen and appetizers each time and always chose something different on their menu at each visit so that I could try out their menu options thoroughly.
For this blogger event, it was slated to run from 5 to 9 p.m. on a lovely Wednesday in March. I liked how, as always, Kinka Family runs these events in an organized manner by having a set menu planned out with lots of thought put into letting the guest enjoy almost all menu selections so as to truly try out the restaurant. I brought my friend Mandy with me and we arrived just after 5 p.m.
It was so nice to see Stella again and the Kinka Family. We settled into our seats by the large floor-to-ceiling windows and took a look at the pre-set blogger menu. During this visit, I chose the ramen option that I hadn’t tried out yet. I chose the Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Ramen with Thick Ramen noodles (I said in my last visit that I would be trying the thick ramen instead of the thin ones upon visiting again), and Chicken Breast.
We were allowed to choose two additional toppings for the bowl of ramen. I chose the Seasoned Egg and the Swiss Cheese. Yum! I remember having the Swiss Cheese on my very first visit to Kinton Ramen and wanted to relive the experience again this time. 🙂
We could also each choose one Tapa each. I chose the Tako Wasabi while Mandy chose the Hot Karaage. I absolutely love Tako Wasabi and it’s honestly been such a while since I last had this tangy Japanese appetizer.
For drinks, I ordered the Calpico while Mandy ordered the Homemade Lemonade.
After we placed our order with the attentive servers, we chitchatted a bit and it wasn’t long before our drinks and appetizers arrived.
Both the Calpico and the Homemade Lemonade arrived in tall skinny glasses with ice. I liked the Calpico! It was a blend of sour and sweet juice that is originated from Japan.
I tried Mandy’s Homemade Lemonade too and really liked how fresh it was! You could really taste the lemons in there and something fizzy too. I really liked it.
The Tako Wasabi arrived first. It was a small dish of marinated octopus with wasabi stem and served with nori pieces for you to wrap the Tako Wasabi in to enjoy. I love this! The wasabi was definitely true to its form and made me tear up from the heat when I was eating the rolled up Tako Wasabi inside the nori. It was so good though! I liked the freshness of the individual chopped-up octopus pieces. Yum!
The Hot Karaage was Spicy Fried Chicken that was a deep red colour due to the spices. Even though it looked super hot and spicy, it wasn’t that spicy at all. It was a dish of tremendously tender and chunky chicken pieces covered with the spicy sauce. It was so good!! I now have a new favourite tapa at Kinton Ramen! I always used to love and order their Tofu Furai (an amazing tofu nugget dish), but now I know on my next visit, I will have to order this Hot Karaage too. It was simply too delicious!
Since I ordered the Swiss Cheese as one of my two additional toppings, the server brought the freshly grated Swiss Cheese to my table before the bowls of ramen arrived. It was definitely freshly grated cheese because you could see the grated cheese slices all standing up firmly in the dish when it arrived, but after a few minutes, it completely deflated haha.
I had only tried the Original Chicken Ramen but not the Spicy Jalapeño version. This contained jalapeño paste, white onions, scallions, and nori (plus the seasoned egg). I like how you can tell which type of ramen you ordered by the colour and design of the bowl. The Chicken Ramen bowls are distinctly more narrow and yellow and white in colour.
The Spicy Jalapeño broth contained the jalapeno heat for sure but still maintained the original chicken broth taste. It was actually really good! It worked out so well that I ordered Swiss Cheese as one of my toppings because it balanced out the spice and heat of the jalapeno paste in the broth. Yum!
The two pieces of thinly sliced Chicken Breast were very lean, tender, and smooth. The thick ramen noodles were decent. Having tried both the thick and thin ramen noodles now, I know that I like the thin noodles better. 🙂
After all the appetizers and ramen, I was so full! I wasn’t able to finish all of the broth in my bowl so I couldn’t be a Kinton Bowler, but there were at least three other guests who did become Kinton Bowlers during our visit there. The staff happily took photos with these Bowlers to immortalize the moment. 🙂
As we were finishing up our meal, more food bloggers and fellow foodies arrived and we mingled a little bit with them. There were more people now and we left shortly after 7 p.m. to make room for the other diners.
I really enjoyed my visit to Kinton Ramen 5 again and for the blogger event. I really like the ambiance and scene of this Kinton Ramen. The large windows and large space of the dining area made it very bright and comfortable to dine in. It was very homey and welcoming. 🙂 Great job, Kinka Family! Keep up the great work! Thank you again for inviting me to your blogger event! 🙂
FTC Disclaimer: Although Kinton Ramen 5 reached out and invited me to a complimentary tasting at their restaurant, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the restaurant.