Sherman's Food Adventures: Kintaro Ramen

Kintaro Ramen

Free food and booze. This is a rarity these days. There is no free lunch in this world; except at Irashai Grill's open house today. They were opening their doors to promote their food and of course, the restaurant. I still think they should drop the sushi and go purely Izakaya. Their tapas are some of the best in town (at a price of course). But that's just me, what do I know? Well, I know how to chew. That's essentially what I have been doing non-stop for the last little while. Mind you, after the initial rush of food at 5:00pm sharp, the food came slowly. I don't think the kitchen was able to keep up with the mass of people milling around in the restaurant. Viv and I, joined by Vandelay and Donna Chang, decided that we had sampled our fair share and decided to kick it. I think we left at around 6:00 and the place was so packed, it was hard to move about. It's too bad really, I was really looking forward to meeting up with fellow bloggers Gigi (Ho Yummy) and Kevin (604Foodtography). Alas, I don't really like crowds (especially hungry mobs), so we headed to Kintaro Ramen as a follow-up to our appies at Irashai Grill.

We were expecting the usual lineup at Kintaro; but surprisingly, there was none! We were seated promptly at the counter. Being at the counter made giggly like a little schoolgirl, that's probably why I opted to order the Cheese Ramen. Apparently, on the menu it states that the "ladies just lo-o-ove it!". Er... sure... All the others were a bit boring and ordered the Miso Ramen. However, Vandelay did the "clog-your-arteries" full fat broth, full fat pork version. Yes, at Kintaro, you can choose how you like your broth (rich, medium or light) and fatty or lean pork. Watching the ramen chef make our noodles was pretty cool, especially when he skimmed off fat from the boiling pot of broth to specifically place in Vandelay's bowl. I was able to get a picture of the fatty pork before it was placed in the boiling broth. That was a lot of lard there!

I can honestly say that the broth at Kintaro had plenty of depth. Even Viv's light broth was plenty flavourful; however, it gets really good if you add pork fat. I chose the medium and you can really taste the pork flavour. Donna Chang noted that some people don't like the "porky" flavour here. For me, I think it's perfect, other than being a bit salty. It's slightly sweet, aromatic and rich. There was no shortage of al dente ramen noodles, pork, corn, bean sprouts, menma (bamboo shoots) and onion nestled in the broth. I actually got the lean pork and it had plenty of meat flavour; but Vandelay's fatty pork was outstanding. The slightly melted fat added another depth of pork flavour which only pork fat lovers could appreciate.

For my cheese ramen, the melted cheese (mozzarella and edam?) really worked. Every chopstick full of ramen was laced with stringy cheese. However, the abundance of cheese really made the bowl of noodles heavy and filling. It was difficult to finish at the very end. Throughout the meal, the service was solid. The servers kept checking with us and we never had an empty cup. The restaurant is really small, typical of Japanese noodle houses. You really do not want to stay long, especially right next to the boiling broth.

The Good:
- Big portions (pork is outstanding)
- Hearty & rustic broth
- Good service

The Bad:
- Small restaurant, not a place to linger
- Long lineups

Business Hours:
12:00pm - 11:00pm (Tues - Sun)

Kintaro Ramen on Urbanspoon


KimHo said...

Ah, Kintaro... Despite it is so close, I choose not to go there solely because of the queue...

By any chance, when you took the pictures of the ramen bowls while they were preparing it, did they ask you to stop? When I did that last time, they made that request (though I think I was taking one to many with them in action, hehehehe). So, will there be an update of the Irashai Grill's visit?

Oh, now that you mentioned "free food", check this link courtesy of Chris from Eating is the Hard Part

Sherman Chan said...

Actually, they didn't mind me taking photos. In fact, they "posed" for the pork going into the pot picture. No update on the Irashai Grill open house. Nothing much to talk about really.

I Love Food Blog said...

Been meaning to try the Cheese Ramen. Looks great! Will have to give it a shot one day. Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

Oh my I was just a few doors down from you...we were at Moto that night after being equally unsatisfied at the Open House. Ramen seemed like the logically choice huh?!

Sherman Chan said...

LOL Wendy. Yah, I guess after the little food we got, we all headed to Robson/Denman... Good eats everywhere there!

gigi said...

Too bad I didn't get a chance to meet you at the Irashai opening! I got there a bit late too. Next time, I'll have to wear some type of identifying clothing so you will recognize me...especially in such a large crowd! ;)

Sherman Chan said...

Hi Gigi, I could wear my Urbanspoon shirt. I'm sure you wouldn't miss that!

KimHo said...

Actually, Robson/Denman is a field full of culinary landmines. The good places are well known (Kintaro, Motomachi); however, for each good places, there are two or three crappy ones. For example, do NOT go to Robson Sushi... Urbanspoon shirt?! When/how you got one?

Sherman Chan said...

Thanks Kim, note to self, avoid Robson Sushi. Well, Urbanspoon offered me one recently. I'm not sure how they decided this.

Travel said...

If you like real Japanse ramen with Tokyo style, you should go to Deli Nippon that I have found recently.

This is the only ramen restaurant that serves Chicken based broth/soup like the movie "Tanpopo". All other ramen restaurants, such as Kintaro, Motomachi, Benkei, Menya, G-men serve Pork based fatty broth.

So you should try Shoyu ramen and Gyoza. Of course Miso ramen does not go with Chicken base broth. You shoud not have one.

I am from Tokyo, trust me, this chicken based broth has closest taste in Vancouver to a Japanese ramen in Tokyo.

Here is information
Deli Nippon
3913 Knight Street
Vancouver, BC V5N 3L8
Tel: (604) 568-6101

Hope you like it, cheers.

Sherman Chan said...

Thanks for the tip! I looooove the movie Tampopo. I slurp my noodles just because of that!

peter said...

I was eating @ Kintaro today and someone found a huge fly in their bowl of noodle. The waiting staff just promptly use a paper towel to pick it out of the bowl. I was so upset I paid for the food without even finishing it and walked out wanting to not go there to eat again!

Sherman Chan said...

Peter, a fly? Yah, they should've done more than that. But me being Asian, it doesn't faze me. But I'm sure it should.

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