A ravenous ramen review
By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
Move over Ramen Danbo…There’s another go-to ramen place in town—this time with little to no wait.
If you’re anything like me, you love the taste and experience of authentic Japanese ramen noodle soup but can’t stand waiting in the hour (or longer) lineup often seen trailing down other ramen joints. If this sounds vaguely familiar, Kintaro Ramen is for you. I have only been to this place once, but it has easily taken the number one spot for my favourite ramen restaurant in the city—which is no easy feat.
Just down the street from Robson on 788 Denman Street is Kintaro Ramen, a small and intimate space for chill and relaxed dining. One of the first things you notice about this spot is the cute and artistic aesthetic of the restaurant setting, making it a pleasure to sit in. Immediately after that, the second thing you notice is the huge, barrel-sized pots behind the counter in the kitchen. They brew and bubble with the rich creamy broth…and you can’t help but stare at them as you eagerly await to be served.
Though not having to wait in line is great perk for this place, it is far from the only perk. Another thing that makes this spot stand out from other ramen restaurants is their portion size. The bowls they serve the hot and delicious ramen in are surprisingly huge and beautifully designed—making it all the more enticing. If you’re still not convinced that this may be the next best ramen place, each bowl amounts to less than $15. Frugal and fulfilling—that’s my kind of ramen.
While the price may not be as high as some of their competitors, that doesn’t mean they skimp out on fresh, high quality ingredients. The bowl I got my first time here was the Shio Ramen with full-fat pork and rich broth—and believe me, you want all the fat. That’s why you’re eating ramen, right?
When they first bring out the bowl to you, the fat glistening on top of the ramen bowl looks like the stars in a beautiful night sky. They are bright, shiny deposits of rich and fatty goodness. Yet, if the fat is a star at night, then the pork is the warm sun—the biggest star in the proverbial sky of this bowl of noodles. The pork chashu is so soft, fatty, and tender, you’d want to wrap yourself in it. Accompanied with the rich broth, they make for nearly holy matrimony (that I would gladly be witness to).
And finally, how can anyone talk about ramen without discussing a crucial aspect of this delicious soup: the egg. As far as ramen eggs go, Kintaro may not my absolute favourite, but it did satisfy me immensely. Honestly, once you have delicious broth, noodles, and meat, the egg is sort of an afterthought anyway.
As soon as this quarantine is over and done with, I know exactly where I’ll be going to celebrate.