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mamster

Kintaro

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I tried to take a friend to Kintaro last week and found it papered over an a sign redirecting people to their place down the street. Is Kintaro defunct or just being remodeled, or are they always closed in February, or what?

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funny you should mention kintaro ramen, cuz we tried to find the richmond location today with no luck! i thought it was on westminster hwy, across from the richmond public market...or somewhere along those couple blocks? couldn't find it for the life of us...

ended up going to rpm food court: yummy malaysian delights. used to be rasa singapura. now it's run by a malaysian guy. the mamak mee goreng was really good, with fried crispy bits of lard. the curry laksa was blah, as was the roti prata...

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funny you should mention kintaro ramen, cuz we tried to find the richmond location today with no luck! i thought it was on westminster hwy, across from the richmond public market...or somewhere along those couple blocks? couldn't find it for the life of us...

The Richmond location had already been closed down for a few months. But I am not sure what happened to the downtown location.

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The other day when I passed by the downtown location they still had the sign suggesting their new place "30 steps east" from them. But they also had a sign saying that they were remodeling and that they will buy a drink for all customers when they re-open.

All of that said, the new ramen place on Robson street (not the new Kintaro owned one on Denman) about "100 steps away" called Benkei Ramen provides a ramen that in my opinion is superior, with much better service and a nicer atmosphere - all around a winning combination. They offer 3 different soup bases. (Well actually 2 and then the combination of the two with the addition of miso to make a third.)

Give it a try!

Cheers!


Edited by Vancouver (log)

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Benkei is great - their tonaktsu broth is the richest, most 'glossy' soup ever! So insanely thick - I can see why some people cut it with the Shiyo broth.

The charsu that they serve is also super rich and fatty.

My goodness - its a great bowl of noodles. But now I need a nap.

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I thought it is funny that for that rich thick glossy soup they say on the menu that it is preferred by women. I wonder why? In any case, I agree the charsu was also super rich and fatty - very tasty. They also will provide a lean version if requested from what I understand for those that like that.

They will definitely give kintaro a run for their money!

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I ate at Kintaro on Saturday. They had a sign up saying they were re-open after renovations and were offering a free drink to customers until Sunday (turned out to be a can of Japanese green tea).

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Thanks to Vancouver and canucklehead for recommending Benkei upthread. I went there last night and had the best bowl of raman (shoyu with extra chasiu) I've had anywhere, and that's including Japan.

I went around 6pm and got in with no problem, but by 6:30 there was a lineup out the door. I wonder if they're open for lunch today...

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Same experience with the lunchtime crowd on the weekends. Get there at 11:30 when it opens and no problem. By noon or so and there is a line!

I guess that part of town is becoming the "ramen district" with 3 establishments so close to each other.

I can't think of any other ramen places in other locations around town - except for that one down in Marpole which is not particularly good. (Don't even know if they are still in business?)

Are there any others too? (Since this is now the "ramen thread" - even though it hasn't been renamed yet? :wink:

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went to benkei ramen today:

gallery_24789_5791_136431.jpg

it's on robson, just before denman. kintaro ramen is just around the corner on denman. we were there around 2:00pm, had to line up for about 10 minutes. i love the feel of the place! lots of wood and paper. very japanese, very comfortable. feels like a ramen place in japan.

gallery_24789_5791_153584.jpg

the menu posted on their door. i was a little confused about the shio/tonkotsu soup thing. i always thought that shoyu and shio were similar in that the base broth is the same, except with shoyu they add soy sauce and the shio they add salt. tonkotsu was supposed to be an entirely different kind of soup where they cook pork bones for a long time until the soup goes milky/cloudy. on the menu they call the shio soup tonkotsu... i dunno... i think true "shio ramen" is something else, and their "shio" is actually "shio tonkotsu"... does anyone else besides insane food geeks hem and haw over stuff like this?! anyways... :hmmm:

when are benkei ramen open?

gallery_24789_5791_61977.jpg

now you know

gallery_24789_5791_13982.jpg

here's the shoyu ramen. my wife doesn't do green onion, and the rockin' server offered to substitute the green onion with extra bamboo shoots! very nice (of her) and very tasty (of the bamboo).

gallery_24789_5791_65477.jpg

here's the tonkotsu. there's bamboo just under the surface.

all in all, a good bowl of ramen. both soups were a little on the salty side for us. the noodles could have a little more firmness/bite/springiness to them. but we would go back because the service was great and the decor is awesome. they give you a stamp card. eat 10 bowls of ramen within a year and you get a free bowl of ramen and a chance to win a trip to japan and hawaii :)

we haven't been to kintaro (down the street and around the corner) in a long while, so we'll have to go back there to compare the two...but we seem to remember kintaro's ramen being a little bit more tasty in general, and my wife liked their bamboo shoots better...a drier bamboo shoot, if that makes any sense, giving a tastier taste (yep i said that).

zooms of the menu:

gallery_24789_5791_106842.jpg

gallery_24789_5791_103578.jpg

enjoy!

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I'd love to hear your thoughts on Kintaro when you get a chance to go back. Hopefully my recent visit was just an off day for them, but I was disappointed compared to a past trip.

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I've been to Kintaro and Benkei recently, and, well, I don't think I'll be going to Kintaro any more. Benkei has (usually) shorter line-ups, tastier soup, and I like the room better. And it's less expensive, although that's a minor issue for a bowl of soup.

Kintaro does have a few more options, so if you want cheese raman, you'll have to go there. And I think their portions are slightly bigger, which I don't need.

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My friends and I were curious about this place when we walked by on Monday. We actually went to the ramen place just past Kintaro on Denman (same side of the street, past the alley, closer to... Georgia). The name of which escapes me, but its the second time we've been there and I prefer it to Kintaro. Their charcoal-miso ramen is very good. Its full of flavor but (I think) avoids the heavy richness of Kintaro broth (even their light broth) which I think is both Kintaro's strength and weakness. They may even have the same owners as Kintaro... This place may have been talked about somewhere on here already, but I'd recommend it be added to everyone's ramen radar if it isn't already (sorry, I don't have photos). I look forward to trying Benkei for the full comparison, thanks for the pics and comments.

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My friends and I were curious about this place when we walked by on Monday. We actually went to the ramen place just past Kintaro on Denman (same side of the street, past the alley, closer to... Georgia). The name of which escapes me, but its the second time we've been there and I prefer it to Kintaro. Their charcoal-miso ramen is very good. Its full of flavor but (I think) avoids the heavy richness of Kintaro broth (even their light broth) which I think is both Kintaro's strength and weakness. They may even have the same owners as Kintaro... This place may have been talked about somewhere on here already, but I'd recommend it be added to everyone's ramen radar if it isn't already (sorry, I don't have photos). I look forward to trying Benkei for the full comparison, thanks for the pics and comments.

Do you mean MOTOMACHI SHOKUDO? It is owned by the Kintaro chef and offers a "healthier" alternative with only chicken-based broths, which might explain your reaction. I haven't been yet but have read several good reviews which commented not only on the quality of the soup and noodles but also on the attractive decor.

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My friends and I were curious about this place when we walked by on Monday. We actually went to the ramen place just past Kintaro on Denman (same side of the street, past the alley, closer to... Georgia). The name of which escapes me, but its the second time we've been there and I prefer it to Kintaro. Their charcoal-miso ramen is very good. Its full of flavor but (I think) avoids the heavy richness of Kintaro broth (even their light broth) which I think is both Kintaro's strength and weakness. They may even have the same owners as Kintaro... This place may have been talked about somewhere on here already, but I'd recommend it be added to everyone's ramen radar if it isn't already (sorry, I don't have photos). I look forward to trying Benkei for the full comparison, thanks for the pics and comments.

Do you mean MOTOMACHI SHOKUDO? It is owned by the Kintaro chef and offers a "healthier" alternative with only chicken-based broths, which might explain your reaction. I haven't been yet but have read several good reviews which commented not only on the quality of the soup and noodles but also on the attractive decor.

that sounds right. we went there with our japanese teacher (from tokyo) who apparently avoids most japanese restaurants in vancouver for fear of extreme disappointment (she hasn't been to Kintaro yet either), but she gave this ramen her approval. The decor is quite nice, all the staff are kind, courteous and pleasant. Its quite a small space, but we've somehow timed our visits right so we haven't ever had to wait.

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My friends and I were curious about this place when we walked by on Monday. We actually went to the ramen place just past Kintaro on Denman (same side of the street, past the alley, closer to... Georgia). The name of which escapes me, but its the second time we've been there and I prefer it to Kintaro. Their charcoal-miso ramen is very good. Its full of flavor but (I think) avoids the heavy richness of Kintaro broth (even their light broth) which I think is both Kintaro's strength and weakness. They may even have the same owners as Kintaro... This place may have been talked about somewhere on here already, but I'd recommend it be added to everyone's ramen radar if it isn't already (sorry, I don't have photos). I look forward to trying Benkei for the full comparison, thanks for the pics and comments.

Do you mean MOTOMACHI SHOKUDO? It is owned by the Kintaro chef and offers a "healthier" alternative with only chicken-based broths, which might explain your reaction. I haven't been yet but have read several good reviews which commented not only on the quality of the soup and noodles but also on the attractive decor.

Two things:

At Kintaro you must ask what is the best today, never chose for yourself.

On Saturday Kitaro does a special ramen (I think it is chicken based)....worth the hour wait in the winter rain with a hang-over.

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My friends and I were curious about this place when we walked by on Monday. We actually went to the ramen place just past Kintaro on Denman (same side of the street, past the alley, closer to... Georgia). The name of which escapes me, but its the second time we've been there and I prefer it to Kintaro. Their charcoal-miso ramen is very good. Its full of flavor but (I think) avoids the heavy richness of Kintaro broth (even their light broth) which I think is both Kintaro's strength and weakness. They may even have the same owners as Kintaro... This place may have been talked about somewhere on here already, but I'd recommend it be added to everyone's ramen radar if it isn't already (sorry, I don't have photos). I look forward to trying Benkei for the full comparison, thanks for the pics and comments.

Do you mean MOTOMACHI SHOKUDO? It is owned by the Kintaro chef and offers a "healthier" alternative with only chicken-based broths, which might explain your reaction. I haven't been yet but have read several good reviews which commented not only on the quality of the soup and noodles but also on the attractive decor.

Two things:

At Kintaro you must ask what is the best today, never chose for yourself.

On Saturday Kitaro does a special ramen (I think it is chicken based)....worth the hour wait in the winter rain with a hang-over.

On your first point, that's good tip that I for some reason never thought of applying at a ramen place (have certainly done it many times in other Japanese restos).

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^ It's the Forest Fire ramen with chicken stock.

it was almost 2 months ago so hopefully things have changed back, but when I visited Kintaro (on a Saturday) I was told they no longer do the Forest Fire.

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Here's my vote for the top 3 ramen joints in the city:

1) Motomachi Shokudo - 740 Denman

2) Menya - 401 W Broadway

3) Kintaro - 788 Denman

I haven't tried Benkei Ramen on Robson St yet - how does it compare?


Edited by Kentan (log)

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Here's my vote for the top 3 ramen joints in the city:

1) Motomachi Shokudo - 740 Denman

2) Menya - 401 W Broadway

3) Kintaro - 788 Denman

I haven't tried Benkei Ramen on Robson St yet - how does it compare?

I prefer Benkei. That's where I always find myself heading back when I need a bowl of miso ramen. I haven't tried Menya, though. I'd be curious to see how you feel it stacks up!

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Here's my vote for the top 3 ramen joints in the city:

1) Motomachi Shokudo - 740 Denman

2) Menya - 401 W Broadway

3) Kintaro - 788 Denman

I haven't tried Benkei Ramen on Robson St yet - how does it compare?

Haven't tried Menya but we always seem to go back to Motomachi. Was there last night again, and the New Generation Miso is so damn good. Beautiful space, as well.

Personally, I find Benkei to be a bit on the greasy side....and Kintaro needs a good scrub down. :wink:

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Menya specializes in tonkotsu broth. My favourite soup on the menu is the miso version. You only get two slices of pork in the soup, and since they are tender and delicious I want more. Thankfully for just $3 you can order extra and get 6 extra slices to add in. You can also add in an egg, extra noodles, etc. all for very reasonable surcharges. Their gyoza are very well prepared and served very hot. The gyoza have a very pleasant ginger and green onion flavour to them, and are my preferred gyoza in a restaurant in Vancouver.

The service is very friendly and helpful, and really gives a similar feel to a similar type place in Japan. The food appears within 2 minutes normally when they are busy, and on a "slow day" in about 3.

Tip: Order one of their set menus. It includes the ramen of your choice, a side of gyoza, and a rice ball flavoured with sea kelp and with little bits of konnyaku and carrots. The set menu is just a $3 add-on to the soup.

I think Menya has passed the ramen places from "ramen row" near the corner of Robson and Denman in my book.

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For my money, the ramen in Vancouver you must have before you die is the Charcoal version at Motomachi Shokudo. I've never seen anything quite like it - the broth is an intimidating slate grey - but the flavour is like excellent barbeque. Here's a good link:

http://www.vancouverslop.com/2008/10/bambo...oisturizer.html

They have a brown rice sushi appetizer which is great, but what you really need is extra medium-boiled eggs in your ramen - they're organic and free range, and always perfectly cooked, somehow.

The one thing about Motomachi is their servings are significantly smaller than Kintaro & others. For me, this just means it's possible to actually finish my bowl there, so I'm happy.


Edited by Nicholas Ellan (log)

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