Kinton Ramen 5 (Toronto)

The newest Kinton Ramen location has just opened beside the first Kinka Izakaya (formerly Guu) … talk about coming full circle! In contrast to Kinton 1 on Baldwin and Kinton 4 in North York, the Church street restaurant is surrounded by windows giving the dining room an airy atmosphere and some turning heads as pedestrians walk by.

Its menu is identical to the other restaurants but there are some slight differences in the food’s preparation. For example, at Kinton 5 some pieces of their original karaage ($5.90) have the skin left on so that the deep fried chicken is even moister and an addition crackling crunch. Any flour coating the chicken is minimal making the appetizer lighter than the versions I’ve tried at Kinton 4 and Kinka.

Be careful when biting into the takoyaki ($4.50) … it’s HOT! As the steam settles, you can see the octopus pieces mixed into the glutinous dough of the deep fried nuggets. Its consistency is more fluid than you’d expect, but it’s not off putting and almost reminds me of a stickier deep fried turnip cake.

Having had a good experience with the spicy garlic pork noodles, I decided to try the other flavour amped offering: the spicy jalapeno chicken ramen ($11.90). The heat, stemming from the jalapeno paste, is subtle and plays peek-a-boo with the tongue; barely noticeable until the last moment the soup is swallowed.

The two slices of chicken breast weren’t overly flavourful but are tender having been cooked sous vide and goes well with the blanched diced white onions. Personally, I think the ramen should come standard with corn (an extra $1), which adds an additional punch of colour, its sweetness balancing the jalapeno and the crunch contrasting against the otherwise “soft” ingredients.

Adding on a seasoned egg ($1.50) is wise, it seems even more slowly cooked than the other locations, its yolk a molten jelly texture.

The silky chicken broth has a creamy quality without being oily so it’s a lighter meal – perfect for the warmer weather. And, it’s one of those bowls that’s easy to finish every last drop so that you too can become a Kinton Bowler and get a picture on their online wall of fame.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10
Disclaimer: The above meal was provided on a complimentary basis, but rest assured, as noted in the mission statement, I will provide an honest opinion.

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 396 Church Street

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!

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