In December, I took a quick trip over to Vancouver to meet my brother who came all the way from Australia to hang out. I’ve actually never properly visited Vancouver before so I was really excited about it! Unfortunately, my early morning flight to Vancouver from Toronto was delayed for several hours because of a snowstorm. Air Canada no longer serves complimentary food on their flights (WTH!) and who wants to pay more money for terrible plane food?
So when I finally arrived in Vancouver, I was absolutely starving! Winter months make me crave warm satisfying soup and what better to satisfy that craving than Japanese ramen noodles! We happened to stay in a hotel located in the calm English Bay neighbourhood of Vancouver which is quite close to Stanley Park. Lucky for us, Denman St is filled with many cool restaurants like Kintaro Ramen.
When you first enter Kintaro Ramen, you’ll be hit with the smell, feel and noise of it all. The restaurant is relatively small but we didn’t have to wait too long for a seat at the bar. Bar seating at a ramen restaurant isn’t as comfortable but you have the best view in the house. You get to watch how all the magic is created.
There was a small variety of options to choose from, but both my brother and I were immediately drawn to the cheese ramen and the spicy garlic ramen. Warm cheese and spicy garlic soup is total comfort food and would hit the spot! We’ve never tried cheese ramen before so it was an interesting choice.
When the cheese ramen arrived, it was layered with shredded cheese, pork slices and some butter on top. Of course, it had corn in it! How very North American. The butter and cheese quickly melted into the warm broth and transformed into stringy gooey goodness. Unfortunately, it did not come with boiled egg.
The spicy garlic ramen came with a warm spicy soup and a bowl of chopped garlic on top! Luckily, this ramen bowl came with the classic parboiled egg and my favourite part of any ramen dish! I always save the best for last and for me, it’s the parboiled egg every time! This dish also came with bean sprouts. The amount of spicyness was perfect and so so comforting.
Although I love the umami flavour in ramen broth, what really sets ramen shops apart is the texture of the noodles. I can tell how fresh the noodles are and if they are handmade. Pillowy texture a strand of noodle is everything! So while the broth was tasty, I wasn’t all that satisfied by the texture of these noodles. But I was sure still glad that we chose Kintaro Ramen as our first dish in Vancouver to set the bar for the rest of our trip!