Kinton takes Koreatown
Home of the perpetual lineup, Baldwin Village's Kinton Ramen quietly launched a second outpost in the defunct Il Bun Ji (668 Bloor West, at Manning, 416-551-8177, kintonramen.com, @KintonRamen) earlier this month. Not only is the new room larger than the original and open till 2 am Friday and Saturday nights, but the menu's been expanded and now features chicken ramen alongside the usual pork.
Head to either on Tuesday (January 28) for Mega Ramen. If you finish a $30 bowl of shoyu ramen with double noodles, six orders of pork shoulder, four of pork belly, a slow-poached egg, some seaweed and a triple helping of bean sprouts in 15 minutes or less, it's on the house. There are a few stipulations. Sharing is verboten, as are washroom visits. "If you vomit, please mop it. No dying or passing out." However, burping and slurping are encouraged.
Not to be outdone, nearby Ryus Noodle Bar (33 Baldwin, at Henry, 647-344-9306, ryusnoodlebar.com, @RYUS_Noodle_bar) offers its everyday ramen lineup for half-price through January 31. The six-month-old trat has also created a limited-edition roast beef ramen for the duration, but you'll have to pay full price of $9.95 for that privilege.
Long-time Supermarket chef Manh Nguyen has resurfaced in the heart of Ford Nation with Mai Bistro (4906 Dundas West, at Burnhamthorpe, 647-343-3130, maibistro.com). The carte features what Nguyen calls Latin-Asian tapas, shareable plates like blue crab fried rice and Vietnamese-style pork tacos with salsa 'n' slaw.
A regular winner in NOW's annual Readers Poll, Mother's Dumplings (421 Spadina, at College, 416-217-2008, mothersdumplings.com) looks set to open a second outpost on the Danforth as early as mid-February. Located in the old Maverick's Pub two blocks east of Pape, this Mother's promises a similar dim-sum-style menu as well as a first-time liquor licence. and patio come summer.