Kinton, Konnichiwa and Kenzo aren’t the only local cantinas dabbling in ramen. Kinton’s sister resto, Guu (398 Church, at McGill, 416-977-0999, guu-izakaya.com), offers ramen as a stripped-down appetizer Monday through Wednesday, while midtown izakaya Koyoi (2 Irwin Ave, at Yonge, 647-351-5128, koyoi.ca) has the slurpy noodle dish as a dinner special Wednesday. Ajisen (332 Spadina, at Glen Baillie, 416-977-8080, ajisen.ca) and its suburban franchises are best avoided unless you’re a fanatic for soggy spaghetti, chemical broths and over-processed toppings.
Not to be outdone, two of Vancouver’s most popular Japanese noodle houses are muscling in on Hogtown’s relatively untapped ramen market. The Hokkaido-based Santouka chain has announced it launches locally later this year just as BC rival Kintora (no relation to Kinton) looks set to unveil Raijin Ramen in the old Cr3asian space on Gerrard just east of Yonge any day now.
Leslieville’s best brunch spot, Frankly, has quietly pulled the plug after a two-year run, proving it’s harder than it looks to make a go of it selling $10 plates of eggs with only 18 seats and no liquor licence or patio. It will be missed, if only for its outstanding glam-rock tuneage.
As of this week, the uptown Appletree farmers’ market is now located in June Rowlands Park at Mt. Pleasant and Davisville. It will be setting up every Tuesday from 3 to 7 pm through October 16.
Not unexpectedly, former Marben chef Carl Heinrich has won the second Top Chef Canada competition, copping a kitchenful of stainless steel appliances and $100K in cash. Heinrich’s sudden exit from the Wellington West snout-to-table bistro shortly after TCC wrapped shooting last February suggested to some – okay, me – that the 26-year-old Sooke, BC, native had taken the top-rated TV show’s crown. Since then, the locavore toque has been keeping a low profile, but just announced he’s opening a new 100-seat resto called Richmond Station later this summer in the downtown core.