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3
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  • Reviews92

Kintaro Ramen

788 Denman Street
Vancouver, BC V6G2L5
Tel: (604) 682-7568
Neighbourhood: Central

Reviews

Displaying 41 - 60 of 92 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
For the price...
By lovingmyfood of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Wednesday, June 8, 2011 - 10:53am [Dine in]

I would say it's pretty good.

Pros:
- yummy!
- they actually use bone soup!
- fairly large portions (I've been to places where the give you a very fine slice of pork)
- you can choose lean or fatty pork
- you can choose light, medium or rich broth
- food comes quickly
- waitresses are efficient they start taking your orders in line and repeat back to you what you've ordered just to make sure
- if sitting at the bar you can watch them cook and there are at least 3 huge keg like pots of broth which are stirred quite often (I find it interesting to see them prepare the food)
- prices are low

Cons:

- broth seems quite oily (particularly during the evening - so I prefer lunch hour)
- lean pork comes a bit tough for my liking
- there's a line to get in often
- you have to share tables with others and there is very little room to move about (although one could argue this is part of the atmosphere of a fast-paced ramen house)
- it's very noisy, as the waitresses and cooks will welcome you and bid you farewell
- small restaurant
- cramped bathroom

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Dirty and smelly
By jooney108 of tri city (1 Review)
Submitted Monday, April 4, 2011 - 4:58am [Dine in]

Service?? I don't expect any decent level of service at an Asian restaurant in this price range. They take your order, bring your food and cheque. Nothing great, nothing wrong. I am fine with that.

Food?? Rich in flavour. But the stock/broth contains too much of that distinctive porky (not in a good way, almost fishy) smell. This is very typical of a pork stock and good chefs know how to minimize it. Unfortunately, Kintaro doesn't. The sliced pork meat (possibly leg or shoulder meat) used for garnish also contain too much of porky odour and it was cold to touch.
**When I say porky odour, it's different from appetizing odour from well-cooked good quality pork chop, bacon, pork belly or ribs.

Value?? More than reasonably priced with large portion sie.

Ambiance?? very basic and under-decorated. That's the whole point. It's like a friendly neighbourhood joint from somewhere in tokyo. But, the restaurant is dirty and smelly. I don't know where that smell's coming from. It smelled like a toilet. Period. Everything I touch was sticky. Yuck. Please clean the restaurant.

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Gyoza is very good. Ramen is okay, good value though
By johnwu89 of richmond (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 12:24pm [Dine in]

The Gyoza is very crispy outside and juicy inside. The sauce that goes with is is not too salty as well. The ramen is so so, not the best place if you want quality japanese ramen but the value is outstanding. Please beware of the waiting time though. Depending on when you go, you might have to wait for a long while.

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Really Great!
By frenchie_99 of Ranch Park, Coquitlam (3 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, June 25, 2010 - 9:59am [Dine in]

We went to Kintaro yesterday..what it was a nice surprise. We were greeted right away while we waited for a seat. After a small wait we were seated @ the bar and had a drink order taken. For lunch we both choose the Miso Ramen. You have a choice of light, medium or dark for fat content ( we both choose medium) and also, you are able to choose lean or fatty pork (we choose lean). The service was friendly fast and efficient, and they were BUSY! For $7.50. You get a HUGE bowl of ramen, filled with pork, (which was tender) corn, noodles bean sprouts and other veggies. It was a great value and sooooo good. Now I understand why there is always a line-up @ this place. I will definitely be going back

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Great Noodles, Cramped Spaces
By jmnowik of North Vancouver, BC (6 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 10:42pm [Dine in]

Let's get this out of the way: Kintaro has excellent noodles. They do a very authentic tonkotsu ramen and their miso ramen is the boldest, most flavourful broth I've tasted. Their latest offering, the spicy garlic ramen, is incredibly bold and the crushed garlic on top adds a real kick of flavour that's unforgettable. Not to mention the boiled egg, which is cooked to perfection. The cold ramen is a great blend of salty, sweet, and spiciness that's refreshing on a cold day. And everything is priced afforably, because you WILL be full. There is no doubt that you'll be full here.

Now there's the issue of space... I love it when there's no line and I get my soup right away, but that is a rare occurance and waiting in line for 15 minutes to eat my food just as fast can be a real bummer in both the winter and summer. The servers are in a real rush to get people in and hour and clear tables almost as soon as you put your spoon and chopsticks down. And then because the boiling soup stocks are kept out front and everything is cooked in an open kitchen, it gets very humid if you have to sit at the bar, especially in the winter when they don't have the dehumidifiers/air conditioners on. This is a very in-and-out type of place, which is good for some, but Motomachi Shokudo just a block away delivers food just as good for a similar price, and is way more comfortable, and typically less busy. I love the ramen at Kintaro, but it is really hard to sit in when I know Motomachi is just as good (aside from Kintaro's brilliant miso ramen), offers healthier options, doesn't reek of boiling pork bone, and is only a minute down the street. However, Kintaro remains the #2 in my heart. Benkei is too salty, and G-men is too boring with its flavours, and I have yet to try the recently-opened Santouka, next door to Guu. Undoubtably I will return to Kintaro when they bring back their cold ramen for the summer and start turning on their air conditioning to sort out the stuffy atmosphere.

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Great tasting ramen
By BCA333 of Richmond (22 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, April 6, 2010 - 4:09pm [Dine in]

I went to Japan for a few months and came back to Vancouver a ramen lover. Unfortunately there is NOTHING that comes close to the ramen in Japan. The closest I found was Kintaro. Although still very good, but nothing close to the real deal in Sapporo, Japan. Like others have mentioned, it is very small, very busy, quick turn around of customers. It's not somewhere you go to have a nice long meal and shoot the sh*t with friends. It's basically more of a fast food joint. Sit down, order quick, eat quick, leave quick. You will often share one table with a bunch of random strangers. This is one of those places you go with SMALL groups of 2-4 MAX. Although is ambiance is nothing spectacular, it definitely is a different kind of dining experience. Try it out if you like soupy noodles. I'm quite certain you won't be disappointed. I would say it's definitely one of the best tasting in Vancouver.

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Unbeatable!
By eatpraylove of Vancouver (5 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 8, 2010 - 11:28pm [Dine in]

So many new ramen places have opened but my favourite is still Kintaro!

There's a line up most of the time but it's because they're so yummy! And the place is tiny but everyone usually eats and goes so the line moves along fairly quickly.

Good ramen! Fast food! Great price! How can you say no?

Some might complain it's a bit stuffy but for some reason I like how small and crowded the place is.. it gives the place a different vibe.. like japan's skytrain!

You HAVE TO try it if you still haven't!!

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Do you want consistent tasty hot ramen? Come to Kintaro
By ssashimii of Burnaby (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, March 1, 2010 - 4:55pm [Dine in]

Kintaro is a Japanese ramen noodle shop. Best known for it's consistent noodle texture and broth. From my experience, its the best ramen you can eat in Vancouver away from Japan. If you like the typical shoyu or miso ramen, that is quick, hot and tasty - I highly recommend this joint. I have also tried their gyozas here and they are not bad, but not special, just your typical Japanese dumpling.

Ambiance is almost like a wonton house, not exceptionally clean but not dirty. If you get a seat by the bar, you can see the cooks at work boiling the noodles and getting the broth ready. Highly recommended if you are a ramen lover.

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Best I've had outside of Japan
By windlip of Calgary (1 Review)
Submitted Tuesday, January 5, 2010 - 3:58am [Dine in]

I went to Kintaro while I was in Vancouver in December. I lived in Japan and haven't had REAL Ramen since I moved back to Canada. The Ramen was great, the aroma in the restaurant was as I remember in Japan, and the service was Japanese style...Quick and to the point. Love the place, I would recomend it to anybody. I even bought a Kintaro T-shirt.

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Finally tried the cheese ramen..
By jeanie85 of vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, November 29, 2009 - 3:23pm [Dine in]

I just had to know what the big deal was about the cheese ramen! They say that the ladies love it...so I must love it too? plus I like cheese....WRONG the moment i saw the cheese ramen, i was sort of grossed out. They give you so much cheese on top that later it turns into these gross looking chunks and its just ball of fat. I didnt really like the type of cheese they use, I dont think it went well with ramen. It was too much to the point I had to order kimchi, but even with that...it was NO GOOD. Next time I go back, i am sticking with my regular miso ramen

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Not what it used to be
By storystory of Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Saturday, November 28, 2009 - 2:00pm [Dine in]

I've been a faithful customer for many years. I was away for a month and my gf told me there's something OFF with the taste of Kintaro. She said it might be due to a new chef. So I went with her one night and the chef we wanted was cooking. Let's give it a try. We went in and ordered our favorite. I had the cheese ramen and my gf had the Shio ramen. Both were disappointing when compared to before. The favor of the soup is not as strong as before which is the reason we went there. I think the chef in Japan will be very disappointed with this "best Ramen in Vancouver".

I would start going to the one on Robson Street across from Safeway. It's more expensive though.

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Yum
By penguinn of Richmond (4 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, October 20, 2009 - 11:22pm [Dine in]

:D the ramen here is good but its quite fatty so you can only come here like once every season LOL
good eat though uhhhh i ordered the thing with the random bits of pork and it was far too salty and fatty...
otherwise everything is good haha i like miso or shoyu medium with lean pork! :D its kinda far from everywhere but its worth the walk back cuz ... yeah LOL

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Some of the best ramen in Vancouver
By quart of Downtown, Vancouver (9 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, September 26, 2009 - 12:29pm [Dine in]

Food: Come here frequently for late lunch and dinner lately. If you're a vegetarian note that all their soups come with meat broth. When you order all soups you can specify your meat (lean, medium, fat) and your broth (light, medium, heavy, which is the amount of oils I think). I usually have the shio ramen, light broth, with either lean pork or vegetables-only. Both are excellent. The pork option is well balanced with some very nice tasting pieces of pork and a good amount of vegetables (and I think egg as well). The vegetable option I especially like as I would say it is the largest and most generous ramen & vegetable soup you will find anywhere in Vancouver. Tons of vegetables and the same great tasting ramen.

Service: Good, but the waitresses sometimes don't smile much, which I partially understand because it is always crazy busy almost any time of day. Always a long line-up outside, expect 20-30 minute wait at least to get in normally and another 10-15 minutes for your food to come, but I keep going back because it's worth it.

Value: Great value. Large portions and great taste.

Ambiance: Okay ambience, customers always seem happy, but the environment is very sparse. Clean, very basic white walls, simple chairs and tables, etc. You come here for the food and bring your friends, but you don't linger afterwards.

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great noodles
By reilax3 of Vancouver (7 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, July 26, 2009 - 6:29pm [Dine in]

The ramen just hits the spot. Miso is the way to go!
but you have to wait 20 minutes to get a seat, and i REALLY do not like the sharing of a table with other customers.. just awkward. I really think that they need to expand the place, cause its just really dirty and it doesn't seem like they clean up after each guest since they are so busy.

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not so great
By blahing of Vancouver (8 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, April 13, 2009 - 12:21am [Dine in]

I went to Kintaro for the first time and expected something better. The ramen is good but nothing too special. It was a cold day so a big bowl of noodles was right. The soup was a bit too salty. I think the price is ok, a bit pricey for what you get and the service, but I guess the location is on Denman. Before we even get a table they take your order, and we barely finished eating and the waitress brings the bill. The seating is uncomfortable and we were sitting directly across another group of people. It was awkward for everyone to have a conversation. They seem to turn a large number of tables really quickly. I don't think its worth the line up and traffic to get to downtown for this type of food.

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Tasty treat-like ramen
By vanfoodie9 of Vancouver (4 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, March 26, 2009 - 5:04pm [Dine in]

This is the place to go for rich, heavy ramen. Although, I stuck to the lighter side and ordered the lean pork and medium-rich broth. The wait time can be a factor sometimes, but I only had to wait 10 minutes to be seated. I think I will order the lean broth next time, so I am able to finish off the whole bowl. The ambiance is lacking and one does not go here for that, but for the good value ramen. The servers are friendly and efficient and will come by to refill your water glass. I will be back, as the ramen is tasty and a good price.

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Convenient Choice
By kellbot of West End (9 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - 6:23am [Dine in]

I live close by... so usually this is my first choice on Sunday, if i can get a seat.

The noodles teeter between 3 and 4. I miss Japan.

The servers are cute japanese girls that seem to find a way to smile working in this gong show of a noodle house.

The value is ok... but for $1 a bowl of hanpayaro...I'll take those all day.

Yeah... don't wanna be sitting there for more than 20min. The communal table is only ok if it was a bit more spacier. Sometimes i won't sit down even if there is a seat.

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Kyoto Street vendors brought to Denman Street
By SIXOFOH of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 2:28pm [Dine in]

I lived in Japan for a year and traveled all over the Kansai area and absolutely loved the Ramen i tasted in the back alleys of a Kyoto Street late at night with my boyfriend and friends.. We were all very impressed with the quality and true taste of Ramen.

The first time i went to Kintaro Ramen.. i loved the raw japanese environment. after reading the reviews i went and experience it on my own. I love the sharing of the big table, the smell of the Ramen in your face, the line up during all types of weather, rain, snow, hot sunny etc. I love how i am the minority because most of the clients are japanese.. i can tell because i can hear them speaking, i loved my ramen soup and i highly recommend it if you want true ramen on a cold, rainy, snowy, hot day. It will be worth it.

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Best ever ramen? No, but it's still pretty damn good.
By gotta_eat of Southeast Van (5 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 26, 2008 - 9:05pm [Dine in]

Kintaro is one of those places where you go for the food, not the ambiance, so let's get that out of the way first. With that in mind, you should expect to sit down, place your order, eat and get your bill all in about half an hour's time. It's in, eat, out, next customer!

If you're on a budget but still want something satisfying that's not junk food, then Kintaro is a great choice. There's 3 types of pork based broth: shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt), and miso. Every bowl comes with the same noodles and couple slices of pork, aside from the vegetable ramen. You have to tell them if you want your soup light, medium, or rich (meaning they actually had grease to it if you want it medium or rich - some people swear by it). You also have to tell them if you want lean pork or fatty pork.

I've been twice now, and the first time I got the regular shio ramen, light soup, lean pork. It comes with sauteed bean sprouts, a hard boiled egg, bamboo shoots, and green onions (which I opted out of). The broth was really tasty and for lack of a better word, porky. If you like your food on the delicate side, with not a lot of salt, then you might not like this, as the broth is bold with lots of flavour and salt. The lean pork (it's slices of pork roast) was on the dry side, but then again, I chose lean pork.

On my second visit, I chose the chashu ramen, with shio broth. You get more pork that way. I got light broth and decided to try the fatty pork. Good lord, that was heaven in a bowl. It wasn't a huge chunk of fat like I worried it might be - it was more like very marbled meat, which made for melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. The noodles were good - very springy with a nice chew to it. On a cold autumn day, there is nothing more satisfying. It's the best $10 you'll spend. I can't go back to instant ramen anymore!

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Kintaro is B-
By deck of Vancouver (6 Reviews)
Submitted Monday, October 6, 2008 - 5:47am [Dine in]

The ramen may be the best in the city... but far from what i had in Japan. It's all we got...

Hanpayaro is seriously the best $1 you can spend! I should order 20 of them to go~ Other than that... I didn't get caught with the extra additions to my ramen.

The service and ambiance doesn't really count because of the nature of the business. IT's more of a volume, eat-and-get-out type of thing. honestly they would have done just as well serving out of a cart on the street.

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