A Toronto-based ramen chain with 20 locations across North America is prepping to open their first Vancouver location.
Kinton Ramen, a brand launched in May 2012, comes from the Kinka Family company, which operates a half dozen concepts. Most of the Kinton locations are situated in the Greater Toronto area, as well as in Montreal, though the chain has locations in Chicago, and one in New York state in the works. Kinton appears to have been interested in expanding into Metro Vancouver for a couple of years now, and has been actively seeking locations to develop.
For their first location in western Canada, Kinton Ramen is setting up in the growing Wesbrook area on the UBC campus, at 102-6111 University Boulevard.
The ramen chain is known for their signature broth, made from pork, chicken, and fish - though they do also serve a vegetarian-based bowl. Among their specialties are an "Immune Booster Ramen" made with ginger-infused chicken miso broth, "Chilled Tsukemen" (the "dipping" style of ramen) with pork shoulder, and a broth-less "Maze Maze Mazemen" ramen.
Their lengthy list of ramen offerings include varieties with pork or chicken, as well as several that feature deep-fried pork or chicken (karaage). Sides include plates of karaage, takoyaki, gyoza, and more.
Here's how Kinton describes their operations: "Led by executive Chef Aki Urata and our team of professional ramen chefs, we strive to offer our guests an extraordinary dining experience every time. Using the freshest ingredients to make the best quality noodles and broths, we invite guests to taste our exceptional ramen bowls right down to the last drop."
Additionally, Kinton hails diners who finish their bowls to the last drop as "Bowlers," - the chain even has an Instagram account just to shout out those hungry ramen fans.
Here's the official word on what ramenheads can expect to find at Kinton's first Vancouver venture: The menu "will include a range of hearty ramen bowls prepared with slow-cooked pork or chicken broth in five distinct styles - Original, Shoyu, Miso, Spicy Garlic and Spicy Jalapeño - as well as a selection of four vegetarian bowls featuring a 100-percent plant-based broth in Original, Veg Shoyu, Veg Miso and Veg Spicy varieties. Ramen bowls will be served with a choice of thick, thin or shirataki noodles and finished with traditional and modern toppings like bamboo shoots, wood ear mushrooms, Swiss cheese, nori and sweet corn."
And drinks and desserts: "The bar program features casual Japanese favourites such as Sapporo beer on tap, house sake (available cold or hot), and Sapporo-infused cocktails made with homemade lemonade or ginger ale." The restaurant "will showcase a selection of Japanese-inspired desserts such as Matcha ice cream and kurogoma cheesecake made with baked black sesame."
Kinton Ramen UBC will open its doors for a soft opening period starting Monday, July 20, with plans for a larger grand opening in September once students return to campus. The restaurant will be open for both lunch and dinner service.
During its first week of operation, Kinton's new UBC location will be offering a soft-opening discount of 20-percent off all ramen dishes, available for both dine-in and takeout.
You can follow them on Instagram for updates on their new UBC location.
This article originally appeared on June 16, and has since been updated with new information.