In search of the perfect ramen

Like most cliche stories, my love for ramen happened at first sight – or better yet, at first slurp. The tragedy is that I can’t even remember when it first happened, but whenever that was, my love and obsession has only grown over time. Like a clingy partner I can’t let go and I’ve made it my mission to always seek it, specially when I’m away on a trip. It seems I always find a piece of home, adventure and some answers in a big, fatty, steaming bowl of noodle soup.

Now that I’m back in Toronto for the summer I have plenty of opportunities to satisfy my ramen cravings, since the city seems to be just as obsessed as I am. There’s a plethora of places to choose from. If you’ve ever been in the city you know Queen West is home to some of the best, and although I’ve certainly done my best exploring them all in the past, this time around I’m somehow finding myself looking for ramen in the outskirts of town. Case in point: this week a friend and I went on an hour long subway trip up north – to a corner of the city I’d never been before – to try a new place. It was an extremely hot, humid day and not the most appropriate weather for a huge bowl of spicy soup, but hey it was cozy inside and we cooled off with a glass of white wine.

We both ordered the spicy pork ramen. I tend to always go with pork because I find the broth to be more flavourful than chicken. All that fattiness make it extra delicious, and if I’m going to have a bowl of ramen, then I’m going for the one that’s packed with the most flavour, and in that case it also means the fatter, the better – for better or worse.

Just a couple weeks before this specific bowl of ramen happened, I had my first ramen of the summer in a place downtown – which shall remain nameless – and it was a tremendous disappointment. I’ve uttered words I never thought I would: This ramen is inedible. Trust me, a bowl of ramen to me is like a slice of greasy pizza: even it doesn’t taste amazing it’ll still taste good enough, so I always go with the assumption that I’ll be happy eating it no matter what. But I was wrong. Even a hot bowl of noodle soup can be turned into a disaster if done by the wrong hands. By hands that don’t understand how special it is.

So when faced with a beautiful bowl at Kinton, and – not to be ignored – a chilled glass of wine whine, I fell in love with ramen all over again. It tasted splendid on that awfully humid day. The spicy pork is actually quite spicy and kept me on my toes. The ramen is served with a dollop of garlic sauce on top, which adds an extra kick. The broth is rich as creamy just like a perfect bowl of ramen should be. It turns out Kinton is a fan favourite and I as a new member of the club I highly recommend if you’re in Toronto. The staff is friendly, the bowl is hot and the broth delicious. It tastes even better when experienced in good company. Not a bad turn of events for a random Wednesday afternoon.

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