For the past year, I have raved about Kintaro Ramen to the boyfriend at no end. We’ve tried a few times to go, but they have failed, much to my dismay. Finally, the ramen Gods were on our side and we were able to try it!
Since we didn’t want to pay for parking in downtown again, we ended up walking from Pacific Center. It actually only took us 15 minutes, and wasn’t a bad walk at all. I highly encourage you to walk from the shopping district, it’s a very scenic walk and the side streets are very quiet and offer shade! It’s also slightly downhill so not bad at all.
We got here around 6, so I was dreading a line up like every other weekend or time we tried to come here. However, there was no line up and we were seated right away! I highly recommend going to Kintaro around or before 6, or there will be a line up out the door.
We shared a big communal table with 2 other parties. It felt a bit awkward at first, but the table was spacious enough that we didn’t have to make awkward eye contact or accidentally brush arms while eating. I took a picture to give you guys an idea of the seating.
At the other popular ramen joints in this area, they have a big communal table like this as well but I believe that Motomachi Shokudo has a mini bamboo wall so you aren’t directly facing other customers.
The English side of the menu. Pretty straight forward, you choose your soup broth of choice, lean/fatty meat, and richness of broth. Since all their broth is made from pork bone stock, they do not have any vegetarian ramen available.
Last time I came here was over a year ago, so I was worried that their quality had changed and was not like the delicious ramen that I fell in love with a couple of years ago. I ordered a shio ramen ($8.95), with a choice of lean and rich broth.
Shio ramen is usually more creamier and rich than the other soup bases, which I love. It tasted as delicious and rich as I remembered it to be. The noodles were cooked perfectly, and the broth had a lovely and rich aroma to it. It was extremely flavourful, and came with beansprouts, green onions, and bamboo shoots which all tasted really fresh.
The veggie toppings really added a nice crunch to a heavenly bowl of noodles. This is what a perfect bowl of ramen tastes and looks like.
David picked the BBQ pork ramen, with shio broth and fatty pork. I was relieved when he agreed and said that the ramen was as delicious as I described it. I have been waiting for that moment forever!! (Well, not forever… maybe just the past year).
I also like how they gave you an hard boiled egg as well, in the previous two disappointing ramen places we went to (see below), they did not include it.
His little brother ordered the miso ramen with lean pork. He enjoyed the noodles as well, and had no complaints. He didn’t end up finishing his noodles since the portion was too big for him. Afterwards, he tried some of David’s shio broth and liked it a lot more than the miso broth. I should also mention that the miso ramen is Kintaro’s specialty and recommendation on their menu.
In the past few months, we have had disappointing visits to both Benkei and Sanpachi Ramen. Benkei Ramen lacked ingredients and was overpriced for what you pay, while the shio broth at Sanpachi was not creamy and rich at all. Kintaro Ramen solved both problems and had the best of the two previous places – quality and quantity.
I also find that they have very generous portions of noodles, and you are left really full and satisfied. Undeniably, the best place in the Lower Mainland to have authentic ramen is on the West End. Kintaro, Santouka, Motomachi Shokudo, are all great examples.
There is a reason why they all have long line ups. I am still on the lookout for delicious tasting ramen outside of this area, so please let me know of any!
Thanks for reading!