I had a hankering for some Ramen noodles today but didn’t felt like making the trip to G-Men in Richmond. Thankfully, there is a Ramen shop on 788 Denman street, which is just 15 minutes from where I live (assuming no rush hour), that is considered to be the best in the city. This was, of course, before G-Men came to town. Like G-Men, Kintaro Tonkotsu Ramen house is extremely busy. No matter what time you show up, there is always line up.
The line up can get so long that the sushi restaurant next door had to place signs on their windows telling Kintaro customers to not block their restaurant.
The biggest reason for the line ups have more to do with the size of Kintaro than anything else – this place is small! I say it seats no more than 25 people max.
Kintaro is all about Ramen. The menu is only one page and is very simple as it’s nothing but Ramen. There are a few Japanese appetizers on the list but for the most part, if you’re going to Kintaro, you’re ordering Ramen. While the Ramen noodle maybe the same, how it’s served offers a lot of choices. You get to decide the richness of the broth (rich, medium or light) and you can choose between fat or lean pork. I went with the rich broth with fat pork while Sarah went for the light broth with lean pork.
If you’re lucky enough to get a seat at the bar, you’ll be able to see the chef cook the Ramen for you. These guys take their work seriously. It’s pretty well choreographed. The cook could use a new T-shirt, however.
This was my Ramen dish with the rich broth and fat pork. No doubt about it, the broth was damn rich and the pork had a good amount of fat in it. And it was a good size chunk of pork too – way more than what G-Men gave. The dish was so rich and fat that I felt completely stuffed afterward.
Sarah’s light and lean is the Ramen to order if you like to pretend that you’re more health conscious. It wasn’t as flavorful as the rich and fat Ramen but it won’t kill you either. I think the next time I go to Kintaro, I’ll try the medium broth with fat pork.
Nothing seems to go to waste at Kintaro. The leftover and side pieces of pork are packaged up and sold for 95 cent as a side dish. If you want a lot more pork with your Ramen, this is a cheap way to get it. Not that you’ll be breaking the bank by dining at Kintaro. Prices are pretty reasonable, with the average Ramen dish selling for $8.00. Then again, doesn’t instant Ramen cost less than 25 cents?
Overall, Kintaro Tonkotsu is a fantastic Ramen restaurant. One that I highly recommend you try if you’re in Vancouver. Yes, you’ll have to line up but believe me, it’s worth it. Sarah like Kintaro more than the G-Men Ramen House. For me, it was close but I’m going to give the nod to G-Men as the best Ramen shop in town.