Showing posts with label Kinka Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kinka Family. Show all posts
Kinton Ramen is a popular chain of ramen restaurants with several locations in Ontario. Earlier last month, they expanded uptown to Markham with a new outpost in Commerce Gate Plaza. Uptowners can now get their ramen fix instead of having to come all the way to North York or downtown.  

I had the pleasure of being invited to Kinton Ramen for their soft opening, where I got to try several appetizers and a bowl of ramen of my choice with a guest. Upon entering the establishment, I noticed how much larger the space was compared to their other locations. The interior design however remains consistent, as it was sleek and modern with their signature wooden furnishing. A perfect blend of traditional Japanese aesthetics with modern appeal.

Kinton Ramen on 7 differs slightly from the other downtown locations, as this one offers several popular dishes from the Kinka Izakaya menu like the kakimayo and gomaae. Uptown guests now have the option to eat ramen or share several items from the izakaya menu. It's really the best of both worlds! 

We started off with two orders of Kinka Original Ramune ($3.50), a favorite of mine. Ramune is a popular carbonated soft drink originally sold in Japan, but it is also available worldwide. The drink is widely known for its distinctive codd-neck bottles design, where you need to use pressure to open the bottle. The drink available at Kinton has been re-branded with the Kinka logo, and for every bottle sold, Kinka Family donates $0.50 to SickKids. So drink for a good cause!

What I like about Kinton Ramen is that the quality of their food is fairly consistent despite multiple locations. Additionally, the portion size is very filling, as I have never left Kinton Ramen hungry.  

I opted for the Original Pork Ramen ($10.99) - sea salt, scallions, nori, seasoned egg, pork, as my bowl of ramen. I also decided to add some additional topics including corn, bean sprout, and seaweed. My ramen came out pipping hot with a mountain high of toppings, savory broth, and topped off with two seared pork belly with a good meat-to-fat ratio. If you're not into the original pork broth, the ramen menu includes other bases like shoyu (soy sauce), miso (soy bean paste), spicy, and extra pork. Additionally, noodles are available both thick and thin, and I chose thick. The broth was rich and well-balanced (not too salty).  Like I mentioned previously, it was consistent with the quality that I often receive from the Bloor location (the one I frequent most).  

From the choices of several starters and appetizers, I decided to start off with the Hot Karaage ($8.30) - spicy fried chicken. The plate consisted of several pieces of large, and juicy chunks of lightly battered chicken covered with hot sauce.

We also got the ikapiri ($7.90) - deep fried calamari with spicy ketchup and wasabi mayo, from their Kinka Izakaya menu.

One of my favorite Japanese snacks has to be takoyaki, which I had plenty of in Osaka, Japan this past December. The takoyaki ($5.50) contained five deep fried octopus balls with tonkatsu sauce and mayo. There was a reasonable amount of octopus pieces stuffed into the flour-based batter. I enjoyed it!

I was pretty full from my meal, but I will always have room for desserts so I got the Matcha Cheesecake ($4.50) - baked matcha green tea cheesecake. The texture of the cheesecake was creamy with light matcha flavor. It wasn't overly sweet like Western desserts. I ended up eating the entire cheesecake slice, as my fiancé was too full - so I didn't have to share =) 

The only issue that I had was that it took a while for the last two appetizers to come out. We actually cancelled our gyoza order, as we were full from finishing our bowls of ramen. The gyoza from Kinton are really my favorite, but I was too full at that point. The one thing that they do need to improve on is probably the disorganized service, and servers need to be more attentive. Despite the minor setback, Kinton Ramen on 7 did not disappoint, as we had an overall pleasant dining experience.

Address: 505 Hwy 7 East, Unit 54-58, Markham, ON L3T 7T1

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

Kinton Ramen on 7 (Hwy 7 Markham)

by on Sunday, February 19, 2017
Kinton Ramen is a popular chain of ramen restaurants with several locations in Ontario. Earlier last month, they expanded uptown to Mark...
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a media tasting at JaBistro. I have been here on three occasions, and it has remained one of my favorite sushi spots in Toronto. JaBistro is a modern Japanese restaurant known for their beautifully presented sashimi platters, and blowtorched sushi. Established in November 2012, JaBistro has remained a popular choice for many when it comes to choosing a premier sushi restaurant to dine at. Additionally, the restaurant is part of the Kinka Family, who also owns other establishments in the city, including Kinton Ramen, Yakitori Kintori, and Kinka Izakaya.  

Both of my previous dinners took place during the winter time (third experience was lunch), so I was not aware that JaBistro had a rooftop patio. The patio is open every summer until it gets too cold, as they don't have any overhead heat system. JaBistro's Rooftop Patio was tastefully designed with its sleek use of wood, and string lights. It provided a more zen ambiance compared to their dining space downstairs. The patio seats 40 guests, with the possibility of using the eastern (direction) side of 20 seats for private functions.

JaBistro offers a more elevated dining experience by offering both classic and contemporary dishes that are sourced using the finest, and freshest dish from coastal waters around the world. We started off our menu tasting with the first course, a beautifully plated sashimi platter accompanied with a glass of wine. JaBistro did not disappoint me with their selection, and the sashimi platter was a great indication of the rest of the meal. The sashimi was silky, buttery, and fresh.

Course 1 - Sashimi Platter + Cava Sampling

Akami - blue fin tuna loin (Japan), Tai - sea bream (Japan), Wagyu Beef (US), and Salmon (Canada)

Course 2 - Appetizer Platter

Kanpachi Kama (fish collar), Ebi Nanban (battered tiger shrimp), Ika (calamari), and lobster miso soup

The kanpachi kama (fish collar) was a great introductory course, and we both enjoyed the fish head very much. To be honest, we didn't expect the head to contain so much meat, so it was a welcomed surprise.

The platter also came with 2 jumbo pieces of ebi nanban (battered tiger shrimp), which I quickly ate. I liked that the tartar sauce was available on the side instead of glazed on the shrimp as they were on my previous visit, as the shrimps are already sweet in flavor. You can order the ebi nanban from the bistro menu for $14, and it comes with 6 pieces.

Course 3 - Nigiri & Aburi (blowtorced)

Hamachi (yellowtail) from Japan, Chu Toro (medium fatty tuna belly) from Japan, Lobster from Halifax, Salmon Oshizushi, Saba Oshizushi (mackerel), Ebi (tiger shrimp), and JaBistroll (salmon, snow crab, uni, cucumber, tobiko).

Up next was a platter containing chef’s choice of 3 nigiri, and 4 oshizushi, including one of my favorites, the JaBistro Roll. The JaBistro Roll is a signature roll filled with salmon, snow crab, uni, cucumber, tobiko, mayo, and then lightly torched. Additionally, the uni provided a nice creamy texture to the roll, which I really enjoyed.

Oshizushi is pressed sushi, and is made by pressing sushi rice and fish into a mould to create a rectangular shape, and then lightly seared with a blowtorch. The oshizushi sushi are topped off with different toppings to give each one a distinct taste. For example, the salmon was topped off with thin slices of jalapeño, while the mackerel was topped with scallion and daikon radish. Additionally, all the aburi are already seasoned with their in-house soy sauce, and wasabi. My favorite was the salmon oshizushi, and it is one of my must-have dishes.

Course 4 - Dessert

Mousse cake with vanilla ice-cream

We ended the night off with dessert; a delectable green tea flavored mousse cake with vanilla ice-cream. The chocolate sponge cake was layered with creamy and light green tea mousse, and topped off with strawberries. This combination created a very airy cake with subtle sweetness. Perfect for those who aren't into super sweet desserts. If you like sweets, then the accompanied ice-cream should satisfied that craving.

JaBistro is a great place for business meals, dates, or special occasions. Overall, JaBistro is a great place to dine for its quality food, attentive service, and we had an enjoyable dining experience up on their rooftop patio. They are open for lunch Monday-Fri from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, and dinner from Sun-Thurs (5 pm to 11 pm), and Fri-Sat (5 pm to 12 am).

Address: 222 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON M5V 1W4

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Disclaimer: The food provided in this post was complimentary. However, all of the opinions expressed in this review are of my own.

JaBistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Dinner @ JaBistro's Rooftop Patio

by on Thursday, August 04, 2016
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a media tasting at  JaBistro . I have been here on three occasions, and it has remai...
Yakitori Kintori specializes in yakitori (grilled skewered chicken) but their menu also offers items such as noodles, tapas dishes, drinks and desserts. The restaurant is housed on the second floor of Kinton Ramen 2 on Bloor in Koreatown. Since it opened up in March of 2014; I have been back about five times, as I really enjoy yakitori. Below are some of the other items that my boyfriend and I have ordered on our visits (I did not take pictures of some of the repeat orders from the original review).

You can read my original review here.

** Blog post contains photos of dishes that Yakitori Kintori offers on their menu **

Premium selection ($24):organic free run chicken thigh, chicken meatball, duck breast, premium Wagyu beef and beef short ribs

Teriyaki chicken bun ($4)

Kintori udon (udon noodle with chicken paitan soup) ($8.50)

Buta bara (pork belly) ($2) and ton toro (pork cheek) ($2)

Cheese tsukune (cheese meatball) ($2)

Momo (chicken thigh) ($1.80), Tsukune (chicken meatball) ($2) and Pork belly ($2)

 Miso chicken bun (steamed bun with grilled chicken thigh, miso sauce) ($4)

Negi shio gyu (beef with scallion sauce) ($3)

 Tsukune (chicken meatball) ($2) and Negima (thigh & scallion) ($1.80)

Address: 668 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON, M6G 1L2

Yakitori Kintori (2)

by on Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Yakitori Kintori specializes in yakitori (grilled skewered chicken) but their menu also offers items such as noodles, tapas dishes, drinks...
The Kinka Family has added another successful restaurant to their food empire earlier this March. Yakitori Kintori opened a little more than a month ago, and specializes in yakitori (grilled skewered chicken). The restaurant is housed on the second floor of Kinton Ramen 2 on Bloor in Koreatown. Additionally, the space is small so reservations are highly recommended if you're planning on heading there on the weekends.

 Prior to our date night to watch Captain America II: The Winter Soldier; my bf and I decided to eat here before the movie. I made a reservation a week earlier for a seating at 8:30 pm. When we arrived, there were a few people waiting upstairs for a seat, so I was glad that we had reserved two seats.

We were seated at our reserved table (reserved card on top), and were each given the menu to peruse. The menu was a stand-alone, and printed on both sides with items such as skewers, vegetables, beef, pork, desserts, and drinks. I liked that the menu clearly illustrates the many parts of a chicken that customers can order to consume. 


 We started the night off with the tofu & kaisou salad ($7) [tofu & seaweed with ponzu jelly]. The portion was more than enough for the two of us to share. The salad was refreshing, and I really enjoyed the chewy seaweed in it. However, I am not a fan of tofu so naturally, I didn't eat any of it.

In addition to their regular menu, they also have daily specials printed on a white piece of paper. On that Saturday, the daily specials consisted of 7 tapas dishes, and 7 yakitori dishes. We decided to go for the blowtorched salmon belly sashimi ($7.50), just to try it out. The sashimi arrived on a bed of white onion, and topped off with a slice of lemon. 


 If you're not too sure of what to order, it's best to go for the chef's selection. There were two choices, but we opted for the Chef's Selection 7 pieces ($14.80). This selection came with the following skewers; momo, sunagimo, sasami with mentai-mayo, tsukune, eringi, negi shio gyu, and ton toro. Apparently for the chicken, you have a choice between either tare sauce or salt on your skewers. However, our waitress didn't ask us for our preference, which was okay because we enjoyed the skewers that came out.

momo: thigh
sunagimo: gizzard
sasami w. mentai-mayo: tenderloin
tsukune: meatball
eringi: king oyster mushroom
negi shio gyu: beef with scallion sauce
ton toro: pork cheek

We also ordered the butabara [pork belly] ($2), negi shio gyu [beef with scallion sauce] ($3), and yakiniku gyu [beef with BBQ sauce] ($3). The negi shio gyu  was included in the Chef's Selection, but I liked it a lot that I re-ordered an additional skewer of it. Out of the three, my least favorite was the pork belly as it was fatty but wasn't as flavorful as I'd have liked.

Our last two orders of skewers before dessert was the mentai mayo tsukune [cheese meatball] ($2.30)  and enoki bacon [bacon with enoki mushroom] ($2.30).

The kitsune udon ($7) [deep fried tofu & udon noodle in dashi broth] was a creative dish, and arrived in a small bowl with three tofu-wrapped pockets. When you remove the sticks holding the tofu together; inside reveals the cooked udon. I absolutely loved the dashi broth as it was light, and perfect for after eating the skewers.

The night ended with Houji Cha creme brûlée [roasted green tea] ($5). It was a wonderful treat as the texture of the custard was creamy and explosive with the flavor of green tea.

The reservation indicated that if they're extremely busy, then you are allotted a 2 hour seating limit. I would say that is more than enough as we only took 1.5 hours. The washroom was clean, and they even provide mouthwash to rinse, and toothpicks.

Although the skewers are priced very well; it can really add up once you order the other items off the menu. Our bill for two came up to be around $77 (with tax and tip). Yakitori Kintori is a great addition to Koreatown, and I will definitely be back to try out the other items on the menu.

Quality of Food: 4.3/5
Service: 4/5
Dining Experience: 4.3/5
Price: $$

Address: 668 Bloor Street W, 2nd Floor, Toronto, ON, M6G 1L2

Yakitori Kintori (Now Closed)

by on Friday, April 25, 2014
The Kinka Family has added another successful restaurant to their food empire earlier this March. Yakitori Kintori opened a little more tha...
JaBistro is a modern Japanese restaurant known for their beautifully presented sashimi platters, and blowtorch sushi. It sits right in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto; making it very accessible by both TTC and car. Additionally,  JaBistro is run by the Kinka Family who also owns Guu Izakaya, Guu Sakabar, Kinton Ramen, and the newly opened Yakitori Kintori. 

 The restaurant is easily recognizable for its logo of the fish with the luminescence in front of its face. Walking into the establishment, you'd be greeted by a hostess, and most likely be asked to sit at the bar while you wait for your table. The interior was tastefully designed with its sleek use of wood, and it's also windowless. Due to the nature of having no windows; there is no natural lighting (even during lunch time).

Normally, we would have dinner around 6-7 pm, but on this Sunday, the earliest available slot was 8:30 pm. I usually have dinner slightly about 1-2 hours earlier than our reserved time, so I made myself a sandwich at home. Probably not the best idea as I immediately regretted not waiting as I saw our neighbor's sashimi platter (oh well, there's always next time!). The bf prefers nigiri to sashimi, so I guess I'll need to bring in some reinforcements who loves sashimi to get the platter. Anyways, JaBistro doesn't offer a plethora of traditional sushi dishes; rather they have opted to have both tradition and innovative dishes.

Started the evening off with the usual drinks; coke and green tea. The green tea arrived in a large mug with a bigger-than-norm tea bag that was reusable at least twice. 

The both of us got our own order of salad (cucumber, greens) ($8 x 2). I enjoyed the salad very much as the dressing was light, and the thinly sliced cucumbers added a nice refreshing touch. 

We also got an order each of miso soup [lobster broth] ($5 x 2). I believe that the miso soup used to come with a lobster claw, but I guess they have changed it up since they first opened. It's now presented in a mug sans claw.

 The ika [calamari, tosazu vinegar] ($10) was lightly coated in batter, and wasn't too overly greasy. Although, the sauce might be a little sweeter than one might expect for calamari. It was still rather tasty nonetheless, and the portion was more than enough for two people.

One of JaBistro's signature roll is their JaBistroll (blowtorched aburi) [salmon, snow crab, uni, cucumber, tobiko] ($22), which we ordered. Apparently, by blow-torching the sushi, it helps seal in the flavor of the ingredients. I absolutely loved the smoky flavor, and how the creamy texture of the uni went well together with the salmon and snow crab. This particular dish is highly recommended!
creamy uni and delicately sweetness of the salmon and crab balanced out by the salty roe. - See more at:

The bf wanted to try out the kyukyoku that night, but our server informed him that they didn't have exactly 12 different kind of fish that night (so it was unavailable). He ended up getting the sushi (nama) [classic nigri 7 pieces] ($27) instead. This board arrived with a selection of 7 different nigri, and they all just melt in your mouth. I loved how the nigri are already flavored with both wasabi and soy sauce underneath the pieces of fish.

 The ebi nanban [battered tiger shrimp, tartar sauce] ($14) was six pieces of battered shrimp coated in tartar sauce. The shrimps themselves are very sweet in flavor, so the tartar sauce actually made them a lot sweeter than I would have liked. In all, the shrimps were crispy and well made.

The bf forgo dessert, but since I love sweets, I got the choco cream puff [choux pastry filled with chocolate whipped cream] ($8) for myself. As you can see from the image, it was beautifully presented and tasted wonderfully creamy and chocolatey.

As for service; it didn't start off very strong as we had to wait well over 25 minutes past our reservation. Apparently, the customers at the table were finishing up their desserts, and just called for the bill. Anyways, they paid for their bill but resumed chatting. I am assuming that JaBistro prides themselves for great service, so they didn't want to ask the customers to leave until they're ready. I am not too sure how I feel about this, as service is important, but we were just sitting at the front waiting ... and waiting. Eventually, another table freed up, and we were seated around 9 pm. I know that the staff are mainly from Japan, so they might follow the customary of always being polite (aka not kicking someone out).

However, once we were seated, the service was rather quite professional and really good. Our server(s) were friendly, knowledgeable of the menu, and courteous. The food also came out at a reasonable time, and spaced apart well. They also refold your napkin when you're away from your table (washroom, phone calls, etc ...) so I thought that was nice. Overall, JaBistro is a great place to dine for its quality food, good service, and I had an enjoyable dining experience.


Quality of Food: 4.5/5
Service: 4/5
Overall Dining Experience: 4.5/5
Price: $$$$
Address: 222 Richmond Street W, Toronto, ON, M5V 1W4


by on Monday, April 07, 2014
JaBistro is a modern Japanese restaurant known for their beautifully presented sashimi platters, and blowtorch sushi. It sits right in the...