Ever since we fell in love with Kinka Izakaya, we have eagerly been awaiting the opening of Kinton Ramen, their sister restaurant. Here from Toronto, Kinton Ramen promises to bring authentic ramen to Montreal, and they certainly deliver on that promise. Their soup base is made by simmering chicken and pork bones for more than 6 hours and adding quality bonito fish and fresh vegetables to create a savory umami flavour.
The pork that tops the pork ramen is Canadian pork that simmers with the soup. It is then marinated with sea salt and a soy mixed sauce; right before serving it’s torched with a kitchen torch for caramelization. We were lucky to try both Kinton Ramen’s pork broth and their chicken broth at their media tasting. Though the chicken ramen was delicious we found the pork ramen had that extra bit of fat and a more complex flavour.
We started with two cocktails, the Panache was a mix of Sapporro and homemade lemonade, which added a sour flavour to the Sapporo beer. The Shandy Gaff was our favourite of the two cocktails, it was Sapporo beer with ginger ale, and it was very refreshing. We were brought a variety of appetizers to sample, and Kinton Ramen truly didn’t disappoint.
We also received a fabulous ramen broth tasting of all 6 of their ramen broths. The original pork ramen was with sea salt, bean sprouts, scallions, nori, seasoned egg and pork, whereas the shoyu pork ramen was with soy sauce, bean sprouts, scallions, nori and pork. The miso pork ramen was with soybean paste, bean sprouts, scallions, corn, garlic oil and pork, and the spicy pork ramen was with chili pepper, bean sprouts, scallions, grated garlic and pork.
The original chicken ramen was similar to the original pork ramen but the differences were more than just exchanging one meat for the other. The original chicken ramen was composed of sea salt, white onions, scallions, nori, seasoned egg and chicken breast. The shoyu chicken ramen was with soy sauce, white onions, scallions, nori and chicken breast, and the spicy chicken ramen had a green colour from the jalapeno paste with white onions, scallions, nori and chicken breast.
As we were enjoying our broth tasting the appetizers arrived before us. The Age Gyoza at Kinton Ramen is deep fried pork dumplings that came with a sweet chili sauce. These Japanese delicacies are crispy and filled with ground meat, Kinton Ramen did not disappoint and their sweet chili sauce was different from the usual soya sauce based sauces that we’re used to getting with gyoza.
The tofu furai, tofu nuggets, were our least favourite appetizers, but we’re bias, we don’t really like tofu. The tofu center did not have much flavour but we loved the crispy skin of the nuggets and it came with more of that sweet chili sauce that added flavour to the bland tofu.
The karaage at Kinka Izakaya is delicious, so we knew that as their sister restaurant, Kinton Ramen, would likely have delicious karaage too. The fried chicken was perfectly crispy and full of flavour, they even offer spicy karaage for those so inclined. Karaage in Japanese cuisine involves marinating meat or fish, in this case chicken, in a soy sauce marinade and then coating with flour before frying in a manner similar to tempura.
Takoyaki are deep fried octopus balls that are made up of minced octopus meat and tempura. This dish is considered Japanese street food but is now popular in Japanese restaurants too. At Kinton Ramen the takoyaki is topped with a drizzle of tonkatsu sauce (Japanese BBQ sauce) and mayo. The takoyaki are then topped with bonito flakes which is how this dish is usually served.
When we were choosing which ramen to enjoy we were knew that we wanted pork ramen but we were torn between the shoyu broth which was a touch saltier, because of the soya sauce or the miso broth that used three different misos and had a wonderful flavour. We loved the white brownish colour of the broth that we were explained came from the 6-8 hour simmer. The spicy broth was also delicious but the spiciness was strong, and though we love spicy foods, we didn’t want the spiciness of the broth to take away from all the complex flavours.
Sweet Pea chose the Miso broth and Diva #1 the shoyu broth, we added nori, jalapeno paste, scallions, etc to enrich the delicious broth. We had the choice between thick or thin noodles but we were recommended the thick ramen noodles and they were perfect. Kinton Ramen has many options, for example you can enjoy gluten free noodles, extra noodles for an additional cost, 3 times the regular portion of pork or chicken, etc. You truly build your own ramen bowl.
You need to order the seasoned egg with your bowl of ramen. This perfectly soft boiled egg has a custard-like yolk, and is a slight brown colour due to the soy sauce mirin based sauce that the peeled egg is placed in for marinating. It’s delicious! The ramen bowls at Kinton Ramen are large and if you’re a Kinton Bowler and finish your whole bowl of ramen down to the last drop, then you can receive various prizes when you finish 10, 30, 50, etc bowls of their ramen. When you become a 100 Kinton Bowler, one additional topping will be free for life!
Kinton Ramen, you blew our mind! You expanded our ramen expertise, and you made us appreciate the different broths and toppings that you could enjoy with a great bowl of ramen. Our favourite broths were definitely the pork miso and pork shoyu broths, but if you’re a purist, the original broth is perfection. Definitely a spot that we’re going to return to, Kinton Ramen we’re salivating just thinking about that savory umami flavour.
Our Rating: Always on Thursdays
Tagged: 1211 Rue Bishop, Asian Food, Gyoza, H3G 2E2, Japanese Food, Japanese Ramen, Karaage, Kinton bowler, Kinton Ramen, Kinton Ramen Montreal, Miso, Montreal, Montreal Ramen, Montreal Restaurant, pork ramen, Ramen, shoyu, Takoyaki, Tofu, umami