Most people have a particular item of food in their life, that while they LOVE eating it, they usually feel guilty about it afterwards. For me, it’s ramen. Why do I love it? Well, it’s tasty and delicious. However, it’s probably not the healthiest food you could eat. Generally, I try to eat pretty healthy, but sometimes life is just about enjoying good food!
There’s a bunch of ramen shops in Vancouver, but I believe Kintaro has been around for the longest. While there are others like Benkei, Ramen Santouka, and Motomachi Shukudo down the road, Kintaro always seems to be the most popular of the bunch.
It’s a little tough to find parking in the area on a busy night, but fortunately on some nearby sidestreets you can maybe score free parking. Otherwise, the best place to park is probably on Robson, or up on Denman and walk down a few blocks. Denman Street itself is simply a foodie’s heaven. Pretty much the entire street is devoted to restaurants from all different types of cuisines.
I was a little shocked to discover a big lineup. Regardless, the wait wasn’t too long since I came at a time where the turnover was quite quick.
Spicy Garlic Ramen. Maybe next time. Let’s have a look at the menu.
There’s quite a few possible combinations of ramen. You can choose from fat, medium or light soup, and fat or lean pork. Overtime people develop their own preference. Personally, I like the light soup and fat pork. The fat soup is just too heavy and oily for me. Let’s look a little more indepth at the ramen.
Shio Ramen is made from a blend of sea salt and spices. It’s probably my favorite, unless I’m in the mood for something a little heavier. In that case, I’d go for the miso ramen. Regardless, somebody correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think the noodles are ‘hand made’ as advertised by their front door sign. The noodles are way too uniform in thickness and these days, machine made noodles are the way to go economically if you are running a business. Judging by the volume of ramen that Kintaro pumps out, I’d find it difficult to believe that the noodles are handmade. In any case, it doesn’t really matter as I find the chewiness of the noodles to be just right. The soup was the right saltiness and the pork was chewy and scrumptious.
These guys who pump out the ramen do this day in and day out, and the consistency at which each bowl of ramen is served is pretty astounding. Kintaro used to have a Richmond location, and it’s just too bad that in order to eat their ramen now, you have to trek out to downtown (far for a lot of people). It’s not particularly close to a skytrain station either. Regardless, I’d return again, although it’s fancier brother Motomachi Shukudo is a classier place if you wanted to bump up your ramen experience up a notch. Ramen Santouka is another worthy alternative.
Overall:This place is a solid choice for ramen in Vancouver. While it might not have the flair of other newer places around the block, it certainly is a workhorse for pumping out ramen. Being one of the first places in Vancouver to introduce ramen, it's still here and feels like it will be here for quite a while.
Ambiance: 2.5 (Fast food type feel. Eat and get out!)
*Our scoring system is out of 5. With 5 being the highest score.