It seems that although I’ve visited many of Vancouver’s famous and not-so-famous dining spots, I’ve never went to Kintaro Ramen, the best ramen shop in the city. So after three months of constant nagging (no, seriously), we set out on Friday morning to Downtown Vancouver.
As going to Downtown isn’t really part of my daily routine, or weekly, it’s always exciting to feel the whole vibe of this part of the city with all the tall buildings and minimal nature. I live in a small neighborhood and we don’t have towering buildings and lots of street retail stores all around the area…( In short, I go to a shopping mall.)
If you’re planning on actually going to Kintaro Ramen, you’d probably have a better chance going on the Canada Line to Vancouver City Center and walking from there. I will have to say, it’s not a short walk and hopefully, it will make you hungrier for ramen with all the exercise!
(For all people who’ve never ventured to Downtown, parking is crazy expensive there!)
Walking to Kintaro’s wasn’t that bad , actually, even though we pretty much lost track of how long it took, but thanks to Google Maps it was approximately 21 minutes. We’ll buy that, it felt more like 10 minutes …
We arrived at around 11:45 am, and upon entering, we noticed it opens at 11:30am, and the whole shop was almost full. Luckily, there just so happened to be exactly two open seats for us!
Now, Kintaro Ramen is not only famous for their delicious food, but the authenticity of the whole place. I’m not entirely sure about all the traditional aspects of ramen shops in Japan, but I do like that the Japanese ramen chefs and waitresses all are super friendly! You don’t really get that with these new, larger ramen shops opened up by “non-Japanese” owners.
With their menu, it’s really basic and doesn’t offer that many choices/varieties. Not that this is a bad thing though, as it gives people the impression that they’re all about the simplicity of their shop.
They have : Shoyu ramen, Shio ramen ( which is “soy sauce” soup base), Miso ( which they had said is their best!), BBQ Pork Ramen, Vegetable Ramen, Cheese Ramen, and Cold Ramen. For more info on the menu, check out Urbanspoon! (cause i forgot to take a picture of the menu, sorry!)
Originally, my brother was so determined to try their Cheese Ramen, being curious on the whole concept of it. When we ordered, he decided to go the” safe route” and get the Miso Ramen($7.95)… Since I won’t revisit until who-knows-when, I went the bold route and got the Cheese Ramen! ($9.55) Just to let you know, they do ask you if you want lean/fat pork and if you have miso/shoyu/shio, you get to choose between light/medium/rich broth!
Just for kicks, we got the Hanpayaro BBQ Pork ($0.95), or basically leftover BBQ pork chunks. For a buck, this isn’t THAT bad. If you don’t mind the crude bits and pieces of the pork, and large amounts of pork fat, this is quite a steal.
How was it? My Cheese Ramen was fantastic, and I can tell why a lot of people like this ramen. It had a mountain of grated cheese sitting on top of the soup, and it literally melted onto the noodles and pork. Furthermore, there was a additional slice of cheese on the side next to the grated cheese. You might think this is a heart attack in a bowl, but it was so flavorful and unique, that it really is worth its price.It stands up to the reputation Kintaro has been building on for itself.
As for my brother’s Miso Ramen, he told me that the soup was especially good, and he was very pleased with the portion size. Overall, I think he enjoyed it very much. Also, I’m going to have to agree with him on the portion size as it will make you stuffed. **Just warning you now…
“So , is it really that great?” is probably what most would ask. From all the positive comments I gave about it, I would have to say a solid YES! Kintaro Ramen has set the new standard for ramen in my heart now. I don’t know whether it’s sitting there watching these dedicated ramen chefs do their dynamic cooking or all the fresh ingredients that you see them use, but it’s no wonder this is Vancouver’s best ramen shop!