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Showing posts with label Ramen. Show all posts

Kinton Ramen on 7 (Hwy 7 Markham)

Kinton Ramen is a popular chain of ramen restaurants with several locations in Ontario. Earlier last month, they expanded uptown to Markham with a new outpost in Commerce Gate Plaza. Uptowners can now get their ramen fix instead of having to come all the way to North York or downtown.  

I had the pleasure of being invited to Kinton Ramen for their soft opening, where I got to try several appetizers and a bowl of ramen of my choice with a guest. Upon entering the establishment, I noticed how much larger the space was compared to their other locations. The interior design however remains consistent, as it was sleek and modern with their signature wooden furnishing. A perfect blend of traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern appeal.

Kinton Ramen on 7 differs slightly from the other downtown locations, as this one offers several popular dishes from the Kinka Izakaya menu like the kakimayo and gomaae. Uptown guests now have the option to eat ramen or share several items from the izakaya menu. It's really the best of both worlds! 

We started off with two orders of Kinka Original Ramune ($3.50), a favorite of mine. Ramune is a popular carbonated soft drink originally sold in Japan, but it is also available worldwide. The drink is widely known for its distinctive codd-neck bottles design, where you need to use pressure to open the bottle. The drink available at Kinton has been re-branded with the Kinka logo, and for every bottle sold, Kinka Family donates $0.50 to SickKids. So drink for a good cause!

What I like about Kinton Ramen is that the quality of their food is fairly consistent despite multiple locations. Additionally, the portion size is very filling, as I have never left Kinton Ramen hungry.  

I opted for the Original Pork Ramen ($10.99) - sea salt, scallions, nori, seasoned egg, pork, as my bowl of ramen. I also decided to add some additional topics including corn, bean sprout, and seaweed. My ramen came out pipping hot with a mountain high of toppings, savory broth, and topped off with two seared pork belly with a good meat-to-fat ratio. If you're not into the original pork broth, the ramen menu includes other bases like shoyu (soy sauce), miso (soy bean paste), spicy, and extra pork. Additionally, noodles are available both thick and thin, and I chose thick. The broth was rich and well-balanced (not too salty).  Like I mentioned previously, it was consistent with the quality that I often receive from the Bloor location (the one I frequent most).  

From the choices of several starters and appetizers, I decided to start off with the Hot Karaage ($8.30) - spicy fried chicken. The plate consisted of several pieces of large, and juicy chunks of lightly battered chicken covered with hot sauce.

We also got the ikapiri ($7.90) - deep fried calamari with spicy ketchup and wasabi mayo, from their Kinka Izakaya menu.

One of my favorite Japanese snacks has to be takoyaki, which I had plenty of in Osaka, Japan this past December. The takoyaki ($5.50) contained five deep fried octopus balls with tonkatsu sauce and mayo. There was a reasonable amount of octopus pieces stuffed into the flour-based batter. I enjoyed it!

I was pretty full from my meal, but I will always have room for desserts so I got the Matcha Cheesecake ($4.50) - baked matcha green tea cheesecake. The texture of the cheesecake was creamy with light matcha flavor. It wasn't overly sweet like Western desserts. I ended up eating the entire cheesecake slice, as my fiancĂ© was too full - so I didn't have to share =) 

The only issue that I had was that it took a while for the last two appetizers to come out. We actually cancelled our gyoza order, as we were full from finishing our bowls of ramen. The gyoza from Kinton are really my favorite, but I was too full at that point. The one thing that they do need to improve on is probably the disorganized service, and servers need to be more attentive. Despite the minor setback, Kinton Ramen on 7 did not disappoint, as we had an overall pleasant dining experience.

Address: 505 Hwy 7 East, Unit 54-58, Markham, ON L3T 7T1

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

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Ramen Isshin

 Ramen Isshin is a ramen establishment that opened in 2012 by the same people behind Cabbagetown's Kingyo. I had the pleasure of being invited by Yuki to attend a blog tasting of their menu a couple weeks ago. The tasting was held to showcase the summer special 2016, which is revamped every summer. This year, the featured ramen was the Isshin Cold Red Miso Ramen, a vegetarian and cold ramen. We were also given the opportunity to try a ramen dish of our choice, and all of the appetizers and desserts on the menu.

Ramen Isshin seated about 30 people, and its decor was very Asian-inspired with wooden panels, and large wall murals. Staff were also encouraged to greet customers in Japanese, but they were not overly loud like the ones working in izakayas.

To start, we were introduced to this summer's special, the Isshin Summer Cold Ramen; a bowl of signature thin wavy noodles, wok fried ground red miso tofu mince, fresh sliced okra, kimchi, wood ear mushrooms, topped with sweet white onions, diced tofu, deep fried onions, green onions, and a slice of lime. There was also an option to add additional toppings like marinated egg (+$1.50) or make it non-vegetarian by adding cha shu (+$2.80). The ramen was super refreshing to eat, especially in this heatwave that we've been experiencing lately. It was also generously topped with loads of toppings, and the broth was pretty light. This bowl of ramen is only available until the end of August.

Red Miso Cucumber (Vegan) ($4.20) - Fresh Japanese cucumbers accompanied with a Red Miso Meat Mince Dipping Sauce. Don't let its taste fool you because it is Vegan Friendly!

Hiya Yakko (Vegan) ($4.80) - Smooth, cold tofu smothered in Isshin’s own house made chilli oil, green onions & bamboo shoots

The Deep Fried Pork Gyoza ($5.20) - Crunchy, juicy gyoza served with amazing Isshin "Umami" sauce , was pretty good. It was crispy on the outside, and the pork filling was juicy on the inside.

Age Tofu (Vegan) ($4.90) - Deep fried tofu drizzled in a home made chilli oil and sweet soy topped with green onions. Note that this appetizer is also vegan, so it would be a great alternative for those who have specific dietary restrictions.

Chicken Karaage ($5.20) - Our signature Isshin Karaage. Super crispy, crunchy, juicy bites of Japanese style deep fried chicken served with kupe mayo. 

Seafood Okonomiyaki ($5.80) - Japanese savoury pancake topped with bonitio flakes, nori, kupe mayo & okonomiyaki sauce

Cabbecha Cha Shu Salad ($3.90) - Introducing Cabbecha Cha Shu Salad. Chunks of Cha Shu and Napa Cabbage drizzled with a sweet, spicy sesame soy dressing. Great with Ramen and Sapporo!

Lately, I have been craving Tako Yaki ($4.90) -  deep fried battered octopus formed into balls topped with bonito flakes, takoyaki sauce & kupe mayo, so of course I had to try the ones here. Each order came with 6 bountiful pieces of octopus balls that were generously topped with mayonnaise, and bonito flakes. The takoyaki was crispy on the outside, and the interior was filled with tender octopus pieces. The ones here from Ramen Isshin was one of the better takoyaki balls that I have tried.

For my main choice of ramen, I opted for the Spicy Red Miso Ramen ($13.90) - house made chilli oil, Isshin Red Miso blend, wok fried pork, onions, bean sprouts, carrots, wood ear mushrooms, chives, green onions, pork belly cha shu & thick twisty noodles. I loved the chewy texture of the noodles, and the broth was perfect, as it was flavorful without being overly rich or oily. I prefer spicy broths, and the ramen definitely delivered.

Shoyu Kotteri Tsukemen ($14.80) - Enjoy our Traditional Shoyu Kotteri “Rich” style Dipping Ramen. Double soup is a Seafood & Pork Broth flavoured with our Isshin Shoyu. Topped with Sesame Seeds & Green Onions Kaedama

Ramen Isshin also gifted me with complimentary coupons for a second visit, which I took my fiance. This time, I got the Asari Light Shoyu Ramen ($10.30) - A light smooth sweet & creamy taste blended with our signature Isshin Shoyu. Topped with bamboo shoots, nori, marinated soft boiled egg, pork belly cha shu, green onions & thin wavy noodles. Another great bowl of ramen from Ramen Isshin, and it was priced fairly too.

White Sesame Shio Ramen ($10.30) - 100% natural sea salt, bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, soft boiled marinated egg, pork belly cha shu, green onions, grind your own white sesame seeds & thin wavy noodles

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream (3 Scoops) and Black Sesame Ice Cream (3 Scoops) ($3.40)

Fresh Mango Pudding ($4.20) - made in house daily with fresh mangos

The Mochi Ice Cream was probably my favorite dessert out of the ones we tried. Spoonful of green tea ice-cream thinly wrapped with a layer of chewy mochi.

Don't forget to cool yourself off with their drinks selection including iced coffee with milk or a pitcher of Sapporo beer.

In my opinion, Ramen Isshin is a solid ramen joint, and you should definitely check it out. Don't forget to drop by to try their new summer ramen before it ends after August.

Address: 421 College St, Toronto, ON M5T 1T1

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Ramen Isshin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Kinton Ramen 5

Kinton Ramen is a popular chain of ramen restaurants with five locations in Ontario. They recently opened their fifth location adjacent to Kinka Izakaya on Church St. I was invited to a media tasting earlier last month, and had the chance to try an appetizer and ramen of my choice with a friend. I have been to Kinton Ramen several times before the media tasting, so I was pretty well aware of their food. What I enjoy about Kinton Ramen is their consistency of their food products, and portion sizes. The fifth location of Kinton Ramen features their signature block designs with high table-top and wooden tables. However, in contrast to some of the other locations, this location has large windows that allow natural light to shine into the restaurant.

Kinton Ramen allows the diners to customize their bowl of their ramen to their liking by providing various options. It's great as people do have different preferences and tastes.

Step 1 (broth) - select from pork ramen or chicken ramen

Step 2 (flavour) - choose from original, shoyu, miso, spicy garlic, or extra pork
Step 3 (noodle) - choose from thick or thin
Step 4 (meat) - choose from pork or chicken (additional meat is +$2.50)
Step 5 (additional toppings) - choose from a variety of toppings such as sweet corn, nori, seaweed, scallions, Swiss cheese, and more.

I opted for their Original Pork Ramen ($10.99) - sea salt, bean sprouts, scallions, nori, seasoned egg with corn (+$1) and seaweed (+$1). This is my usual ramen order whenever I eat at Kinton Ramen, as I do like lighter broths. The broth is also rich in collagen, and one can order it light, regular, or rich. Aside from the broth, I believe that the pork belly is also an important component of a bowl of ramen. The pork belly here was slightly blowtorch to give it a nice charred finish. Overall, it was a very satisfying bowl of ramen on the cool evening.

My friend got the Original Chicken Ramen ($11.99) - sea salt, white onions, scallions, nori, seasoned egg with seasoned vegetables (+$3.50) and seaweed (+$1), which she enjoyed. 

Kinton Ramen has a nice selection of hot tapas available like edamame, original karaage, takoyaki, and more. I always get the age gyoza ($3.90) - deep fried pork dumplings with original sweet chili sauce, so this time was no different. Kinton Ramen is actually one of my favorite places for gyoza, and it has to do with the accompanied sweet chili sauce. 

My friend got the takoyaki ($4.50), which contained four deep fried octopus balls with tonkatsu sauce and mayo. There was a reasonable amount of octopus pieces stuffed into the flour-based batter.

Try a cold tapas like the tako wasabi ($3.90) - marinated octopus with wasabi stem.

Kinton Ramen 5 is a good place to dine, especially if you're looking for a quick dinner. It can get pretty busy during the dinner rush, but I do find the turnover to be rather quick. Kinton Ramen 5 is open Monday to Sunday from 11:30 am - 10:30 pm.

Thank you Stella and Kinton Ramen for the warm hospitality.

Address: 396 Church St, Toronto, ON M5B 2A2

Instagram: http://instagram.com/kintonramen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kintonramen
Website: http://www.kintonramen.com/

Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

KINTON RAMEN 5 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Santouka Ramen

Over the past few years, there has been an influx of ramen restaurants popping up in Toronto, more specifically in downtown. One of them was Santouka Ramen , which opened its door in late 2011, and has become a pretty popular destination for a ramen fix. Santouka Ramen is a ramen chain originating from Hokkaido, Japan, with several international locations, so you do get an authentic taste of ramen here. After an event, my friend, and I decided to drop by for a quick dinner. We waited about 10 minutes to be seated, which wasn't too bad. 

Santouka Ramen specializes in tonkotsu broth, and they have a specific method to get the pearl-colored Tonkotsu soup. Although, that sounded very tempting, I opted for their Shio Ramen (salt flavor) ($10.95) - our signature ramen which is mild and creamy soup seasoned with salt. Shio Ramen is our only ramen that is topped off with a Japanese pickled plum. There was also an option to add additional toppings for a surcharge, which I chose corn for an extra $1. Overall, it was relatively well-portioned, and there was a generous amount of perfectly cooked ramen noodles. The broth itself was light, and slightly creamy, which I enjoyed. Reviews have often stated that they found the broth to be much saltier compared to other establishments. However, I have been several ramen restaurants during my 2013 Japan vacation, and it was equally salty over there. I highly recommend Santouka Ramen for their ramen, and they offer quick, and friendly service. So next time you find yourself craving some ramen, drop by Santouka Ramen for some.

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Kenzo Ramen

Kenzo Ramen is another ramen chain that has several locations across the city. I went to the one located in the Annex a couple of days ago. I ordered their The King of Kings Ramen ($12.95) - spicy Netsu ramen with five toppings of roasted pork, sliced egg, fish cake, fresh seaweed and dried seaweed. Season topping: marianted bamboo shoot, which was topped with a generous amount of sliced roasted  pork and bean sprouts. It was priced well and the portion was more than generous. However, I couldn't help but noticed how much more sodium (salt) there were in the pork broth here than any other places that I have been to. It was kind of hard to drink the entire bowl cause I was pretty much consuming a handful of sodium with each gulp.

Unfortunately, my review on this particular bowl of ramen is a little mixed. While I enjoyed the tasty and tender pork; I thought that the noodles tasted slightly like instant ramen to me. However, they do offer vegetarian options at Kenzo Ramen so that's always a plus for those who can't eat meat.

 Address: 372 Bloor St W Toronto, ON M5S1X6 

Kenzo Ramen on Urbanspoon

Kenzo Japanese Noodle House on Urbanspoon

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