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Kinton Ramen (Bloor St.)

Posted by Liora Ipsum / Profiled on January 20, 2014 / review policy

Kinton RamenKinton Ramen has expanded to Bloor St. with a new location in Koreatown. The perpetually packed noodle shop from the team behind Guu and JaBistro sports slightly bigger digs than the original location, with about 10 extra seats on the Baldwin Village space. That said, it somehow feels far more spacious.

The room is warm and inviting, with interior walls featuring Kinton's signature wood blocks alongside hospitable details like bar stools with built-in cubbies for bags and a basket full of blankets in case a draft slips through the vestibule. The bustling open kitchen gives the whole dining room energy -- it's a lively place.

Kinton RamenI ignore the pork soups and make a point to try the chicken broth exclusive to this location. First up, The Spicy ($10.80) is served in a deep bowl and topped with incredibly tender sliced chicken breast as well as ground chicken, scallions and nori. Jalapeno paste (available as an additional topping too) gives the soup a sharp kick that balances nicely with the chewy noodles.

Kinton RamenThe Miso ($10.80) is richer thanks to soybean paste that's both salty and a little sweet. It's topped with the same tender chicken, nori and scallions, plus a perfectly soft egg with a golden runny yolk. Noodles are available both thick and thin at this location, and the choice of chicken breast, pork shoulder or pork belly can be customized to order.

Kinton RamenThe Spicy Salad Ramen ($8.80) is composed of chilled noodles, greens, cherry tomatoes and sprouts tossed in chili soy dressing and sprinkled with nutty fried garlic. It's not especially spicy compared to the aforementioned soup, but it's a vegetarian option so it's got that going for it.

Kinton RamenThe bar offers Sapporo by the pint for $5.80 or blended into beer cocktails with lemonade, ginger ale or Clamato ($5.50-$6). There's a house sake ($5.80) served hot or cold as well as red or white house wine ($6).

Kinton RamenKinton Ramen in Koreatown is open daily at 11:30 am for lunch where they continue the tradition of offering a free side dish (Ton Ton Don or Gyoza) with any soup order. The noodle shop closes at 10:30pm most nights with the exception of Friday and Saturday when they keep the kitchen open 'til 2am.

Kinton RamenPhotos by Jesse Milns



John / January 20, 2014 at 03:03 pm
Maybe they should have called it Dokdo Ramen for financial purposes.
Harvard / January 20, 2014 at 03:48 pm
Sure, John. Let's. Because that island is related to their Ramen, right.
Harvard / January 20, 2014 at 03:51 pm
Their Kinton logo looks like Hilroy!
Charles Lamb / January 20, 2014 at 04:40 pm
I went to eat here the other day. It was 2:30pm and I hadn't eaten anything all day so I was starving. It took me 8 minutes for them to take my order. Then I waited.

45 minutes later, the waitress came to me and said they may have lost my order. She ran back to the kitchen to check. That's when my food finally came. They apologized. After I ate, it took another 10 minutes to flag down someone for the bill.

I was dismayed by the service.

Next time, I will stay home for lunch. Because I have more than enough to eat at home.
porker / January 20, 2014 at 05:43 pm
I've eaten at both Kinton locations a couple of times and have never had issues with service- they won't seat large parties if people from your group haven't arrived, but that's typical for busy ramen shops in order to keep things moving quickly.

Very happy with the new chicken ramen!
raymend / January 20, 2014 at 07:00 pm
pork belly, shoulder shoulder, pork belly, shoulder shoulder, pork belly, shoulder shoulder, pork belly !!!
Sharon / January 21, 2014 at 09:45 pm
Glad to see they offer a veg option now. When I went last year, they told me I could order a steamed rice if I wanted vegetarian...
Jian liu / January 22, 2014 at 08:41 am
They are arrogant not seating people to create a line-up. Only when the entire party has arrived together they will seat you. Standing us waiting in the cold
@Charles Lamb: so order wasn't free after all? This is why I do not tip when service is not good, but a miss like that = free meal.
Paulene / January 22, 2014 at 12:23 pm
The people hired here are mostly Korean and are students on student visas...they just need pocket change for cigs/beer. Before you guys start ganging up on me, I am KOREAN and I WORKED at various korean restaurants there..These guys always tell me they slack off and dont care.. so Im not surprised that the service was slow.

It took them 40 minutes for our food, but they forgot about the beer we asked for when we sat down. When the bill came, they charged us for TWO pitchers as opposed to one..which we got when we were halfway finished. BTW there were only 3 tables busy.

The service at the OG spot was super fast..hopefully they start changing things around here.
serg / January 22, 2014 at 10:30 pm
@Paulene you mean the staff is Korean?? which one waitresses (I thought they all are Japanese speakers) or chefs??
Bloordale is a stupid name! / January 23, 2014 at 06:36 am
Is this place just as packed as the Baldwin location? When did this open?
clark / January 23, 2014 at 09:14 pm
yeah owner is Korean so fake
staff is Korean too????
jill / January 29, 2014 at 09:39 pm
I am not interested in this chain since they don't treat customers with respect.. "you have to wait until all of you arrive" LIKE I WILL WAIT OUTSIDE IN THE COLD why can't I sit while my friends arrive?
Left and we had sushi instead
Kris / April 13, 2014 at 11:24 pm
God damn there are a lot of whiners in this thread. They don't seat you because if two people come in and you're taking up space waiting THEY lose business.

Personally I love this place, the ramen is great, the service has always been great and if you finish your whole bowl you get a little pin.

PS: Get the pork belly, shoulder's for chumps.

PPS: Who cares if the owner is Korean, they have ramen in Korea too and all the people working there are Japanese or at least they speak it pretty god damn well.
Simon replying to a comment from Kris / April 14, 2014 at 01:01 am
You work for them right?? It is not about THEM. it is about THE CUSTOMER. What a weiner you are.
Jack N replying to a comment from Kris / April 14, 2014 at 05:20 pm
Korean ramen is a different style and available at Korean ramyun restos
Satomi / July 15, 2015 at 08:17 pm
The owner is Japanese. I worked for them. The majority of people working there are Japanese. BUT recently they also like to hire people to create diversity and attract different customers that are able to communicate and socialize with each other. I also find that the chefs and servers are a mix of Japanese speakers and English speakers so that we are all able to learn from one another. While working there, I usually get placed with other servers that speak different languages for example Korean, and mind you, it is located in Korea Town so we do get a lot of Korean customers. Go back again today, I guarantee you'll see asians, blacks, and whites working there. Ramen isn't just for Japs anymore guys.

Also, being a server for a long time now, there are some things customers cannot complain about. As a customer, if you want something, let us know. Raise your hand, call us over, whatever. You can't just assume that we can read your mind and know what you want when you want it. So as for people who have been waiting for "a long time" call the servers over and ask them for what you want. Don't get mad 20 minutes later because you're waiting there in silence trying to making discreet eye contact with the servers.

@Simon YES it is about the customers. but keep in mind, YOU are not the ONLY customer. The reason why they make you wait outside when you're full party isn't there is simple: first come first serve. It's the same thing if you were waiting in a supermarket and the lady in front of you has a couple items but her husband shows up later and buds in front of you with a full cart. Wouldn't you be pissed off too? So if the entire party hasn't arrived yet, it's only right to seat the ones who have made it together on time because in fact, they are customers too and you're right IT IS about the customers.

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