Thursday, May 19, 2016

Montreal has a shortage of authentic ramen restaurants. When I say authentic, I really mean the ones where chefs dedicate hours (and even days) to prepare a broth that is rich, creamy and full of flavours. I can only name three good ones in Montreal. Nothing has yet compared to the authenticity that I experienced in Toronto and Ottawa. After their successful launch of Kinka Izakaya, the arrival of Kinton Ramen is a game changer. Once you taste their ramen, it will set the bar so high you won't go back to your go-to spots in Montreal. Kinton has five locations in Toronto itself, they now opened their sixth location here in Montreal on rue Bishop. I got the chance to experience first hand their new location. 

Chef Aki Urata is the mastermind behind the Kinton Ramen franchise. He has learnt for over a decade the tools of the trade to concoct the perfect bowl. Here are a few things that you should know about their ramen:

1. The noodles are custom-made by their supplier and tailored to chef Aki's liking. Springiness, elasticity, thickness and curliness are all taken into consideration. You can choose between thick or thin noodles. Gluten-free ramen noodles are available.

Chef Aki Urata portioning the ramen noodles
2. They offer two broth bases - pork and chicken. The pork broth is simmered for 20 hours using pork belly, pork feet and pork heads. It has a rich and creamy consistency. The chicken broth (tori-paitan) is simmered for 8 hours using whole chicken, chicken feet, chicken wings, chicken skin. It is rich and complex yet lighter than the pork base broth. It's like chicken soup on steroids.

There are four choices of flavours - originalshoyumiso and spicy. I recommend the Original for the first timers to sample the depth of flavours built into the broth. The three others are seasonings (or tare) to spice up the original broth. Shoyu ramen is soy sauce added to the Original broth. Miso ramen combines red, white and rice (koji) to give more body and complexity; it is one of the best miso-based broth I have eaten. For spicy ramen, the pork broth is enhanced with chili sauce and the chicken broth, with jalapeños.

3. The chasiu are thin slices of pork belly and pork shoulder that have been braised, marinated, and torched to order. The chicken breast is slowly poached to give a moist, melt-in-your-mouth feel.

Torched Pork belly and Pork shoulder 
4. The ajitama (ramen egg) is soft-boiled egg that has been marinated in soy sauce, mirin and sake. It has the right balance of sweetness and saltiness. The egg yolk is gooey and has a dark-yellow glossy color which are signs of a perfectly marinated egg.

5. For a few extra dollars, you can choose extra toppings such as nori, seaweed, jalapeño and... Swiss cheese.

6. Too hot outside? Go for the cold ramen - cold noodles, mixed vegetables and sesame dressing.

Original Pork Ramen with extra chicken breast
Not only do they serve ramen, they also offer tapas. The gyozas are stuffed with pork, then deep-fried. It is complemented with a creamy sweet chili sauce.

Pork Gyoza
I am a huge fan of takoyaki, the best ones I had were from Imadake. These ones are as good - lightly crisp outside, gooey and creamy inside.  

Takoyaki (Octopus Balls)
The chicken karaage is cooked to perfection. The key technique is in the double-frying so that the inside is moist and the outside, very crispy. This is complimented with a garlic mayo and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Chicken Karaage with Garlic Mayo
One reason why Kinton Ramen is so popular is their reward program. Once you've finished your bowl of ramen to the last drop, you become a Kinton Bowler. You get one stamp on your reward card: Collect 10 stamps, you get 10 pieces of gyoza. Collect 100 stamps, you become a VIP Kinton Bowler - one free topping for the rest of your life! 

Original Chicken (tori-paitan) with Swiss cheese
I waited for years so that Montreal steps up their ramen game. With the recent opening of Nakamichi, Ichifuku and now Kinton, we can finally consider Montreal as a ramen destination. 

Kinton Ramen 6
1211 rue Bishop
H3G 2E2

Opening hours
Mon - Sun: 11:30am-10:30pm

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


  1. The dishes look very tasty and the presentations are nice!

  2. Can you write a review on Yokato Yokabai Ramen and compare it to Kinton :D

    1. It's hard to compare because it is not the same type of ramen. It's like comparing apple and pear :D. Also, I am a bit bias, I am not a fan of the tonkotsu ramen at Yokato Yokabai as I had better ones in Toronto and Ottawa. Check my review here:

      I'm planning to write a round-up article on the ramen spots in Montreal in the future.

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