Disclaimer: This meal was comped.
Today I am partnering up with the Kinka family of Japanese restaurants to usher in their latest addition to the collection. The group which pioneered Toronto ramen shops in 2012 has since sprawled across the GTA and later entered Montreal, Chicago, Tokyo and Seoul.
Even with six banners – including Kinton Ramen and Kinka Izakaya – and over twenty locations under its umbrella, the giant is showing no signs of slowing down; with a second downtown Kinton outpost recently announced.
With the new location yet to open, today I visited the Westmount branch instead. Open since last fall, Kinton is part of the neighborhood's recent wave of Japanese expansions, along with Ryu across the street and Saint Sushi up Greene Avenue.
The serene, woodsy interior stands in contrast against the 70s Brutalist-style office building which houses the Ste-Catherine Street West tenant. The busy lunch hour was animated by the staff's loud greeting and bidding farewell to every guest, in true Japanese fashion.
Kinton's ramen menu invites you to compose your own soup, starting with the choice of broth and meat all the way to the noodle thickness and extra toppings. The soup base – which comes in both traditional and signature variations – is easily the richest and most flavourful we've had in town. Otherwise there is a half-page of izakaya classics for starters, such as a fiery basket of juicy chicken karaage.
"fried chicken with chili sauce"
"sea salt, seasoned egg, white onion, nori, scallion, sweet corn, thick noodles"
"soy sauce, bean sprouts, nori, scallion, seaweed, thick noodles"
"baked matcha green tea cheesecake"
A wildly-popular and well-received Toronto ramen brand is slowly leaving its mark on Montreal. With its fifth location in town now, you will never be too far away from an umami-filled bowl of noodles, meat and broth. Let the slurping commence…
The new downtown Kinton Ramen is located at 1200 Union Avenue and opens on May 10. To win a dinner for two there, make sure you follow us on Instagram @514eats and check our feed for details. Good luck!
Price per person: $20.89
Montreal restaurant and bar reviews brought to you by two regular guys who like to eat and drink. We will go anywhere and we will say it like it is.