Over the opening weekend, we visited Kinton Ramen, the new ramen place from the owners of Guu. Having an unexpectedly popular Grand Opening the night before, Kinton was closed for lunch the following day, creating an even more eager dinner crowd. Arriving at 6PM, the noodle bar was full, and with 20 people in line outside the restaurant.
Thankfully the line moved relatively quickly, and we were soon inside, being greeted in the typical Guu fashion. The narrow wood tiled restaurant was dotted with their namesake golden pigs (kin=gold, ton=pig). We started with glasses of lemonade and cold tea, which were nicely refreshing but a bit pricey for their size.
Breaking from the norm of trying the basic pork option, we both decided on the Spicy Garlic Ramen, which had a slice of pork belly, chili pepper, kinton pork, beansprout, onion, scallion, and a scoop of fresh grated garlic. With each bowl of ramen, there is a choice of regular or light broth, and pork belly or pork shoulder. Extra toppings such as corn or egg are available, but at a dissuading extra $1-$2 each.
The toppings are on the lighter side, with the main focus on the noodles and broth. The noodles were excellent – springy and not spaghetti-like at all. After stirring in the scoop of garlic, the broth was exceedingly garlicky (this is a really good thing) with a good amount of spice. However the extra spice and garlic masks the pure-porkiness of the broth, making it not too different from Korean gamjatang.
Kinton also offers a variety of appetizers and rice options. I would definitely return to try one of the non-spicy ramen, to better compare against the other ramen places in the GTA. Also it’s probably best to not go with a group, as with the limited seating – the “house rules” indicate no groups will be seated until everyone is present!
Saturday Evening, May 19, 2012
51 Baldwin St, Toronto