Source: Why Not Deals
Now that it's been quite a while since Singapore has has been out of lockdown, or what our government has termed "circuit breaker", restaurants have been operating pretty much as usual aside from implementing safe distancing measures. We've also been eating out more and trying new places!
And one of these new places is Kokoro!
We were at Suntec City the other day (as usual, since it's Sean's hangout place for DDR), and were hungry for dinner. It was around 8pm and nowadays a lot of shops close early and this was one of the few that was still open. So we decided to give it a try!
I've only ever eaten mazesoba in Japan, and actually only in one particular shop called Bura bura, which I shared on tasteem a long time ago. It's one of our favourite noodle shops in Tokyo and I still think about those deliciously thicc noodles to this day. 🤤
Technically they call this abura soba but a quick google search told me that it's essentially the same as mazesoba so 🤷♀
Now I remember we actually did try mazesoba once in Singapore at this shop in the Don Don Donki food court but it was kind of a disaster. I also posted about it here btw.
But anyway, it's been quite a while since we've eaten mazesoba and the pictures outside looked quite promising. Also they were having a promotion on ramen which was tempting.
The restaurant was fairly empty; in fact they actually blocked off half the restaurant I guess to make it easier for the wait staff and also to show they limited the amount of seating for social distancing purposes.
But the interior looked nice and comfortable. I liked the contrast between the cream coloured furnishings and the black ceiling and industrial flooring. The nbench seats definitely seemed a lot more comfortable than the low back chairs though. As a personal preference I always make a beeline for benches because I greatly prefer the backrests and cushioned seats. So we were lucky that there were open seats there.
They even had instructions on how to eat mazesoba on the walls, which was helpful since mazesoba restaurants are not that common here in Singapore.
Here's the menu btw, which features their mazesoba with various toppings, different types of ramen with various toppings, bento sets, some side dishes and even a line of bubble tea by Emma Japan (which I guess is a Japan brand of bubble tea).
Since I was in the mood for some soup and we weren't sure if the mazesoba was good, I ordered their Houjun Tonkotsu Ramen, and there were 3 different flavours to choose from - Spicy Red, Garlic Black or Original flavour White. I decided to try the garlic black because I didn't want anything too spicy.
And just 5 minutes later, my ramen arrived!
It looked deliciously awesome and I could definitely smell the garlic. The ramen itself was good, and the broth was rich and savoury with just the right amount of seasonings. The garlic did not overpower the broth in any way either which is good. The chashu was average; nothing to complain about. Overall, I'd say the ramen is pretty good; and for $9.80 it's actually quite reasonable in terms of quantity and quality too.
A short while later, Sean's mazesoba arrived! Iirc, he ordered the original mazesoba, which also costs $9.80.
It looked pretty similar to all the pictures we saw, which was promising. It also came with a side of some sauce, but like the pictures on the wall said, the first step was to mix it all up!
It smelled really good and after a good deal of mixing, Sean was excited to dig in!
I tried some of his soba and it was actually really good! The seasonings were just right; it was nice and oily and not dry. And the noodles were thicc and slightly chewy. The perfect blend of texture and taste. The sauce was also really good. And it was actually surprisingly wet enough that we didn't really use the extra bowl of sauce that came with the soba.
Sean's only gripe with it was it was too little! The quantity was pretty lacking, but I guess it's understandable for it being $9.80. Not 10 minutes later Sean cleaned his bowl! I was only halfway through my ramen!
After he was done with the noodles, he asked for a bowl of rice to eat with the rest of the sauce since that was the last step. The sauce actually tasted pretty good with the rice too, but I preferred the thicc soba noodles.
Overall, I'd say this meal was pretty fantastic. The mazesoba definitely lived up to its name, and it's no surprise that they were actually The Best Mazesoba By Tokyo Ramen of the Year, and have outlets in so many different countries!
I read that Menya Kokoro was originally founded by Chef Ishikawa in January 2014, after his experience in a famous ramen restaurant. And now, Menya Kokoro has opened 33 outlets worldwide in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Vancouver within a span of just 4 years!
Kokoro actually means heart, mind and soul, while Menya means gratitude. The founder, Ishikawa chose kokoro because of his belief of “Cooking with soul and serving with the feeling of gratitude, always.” I'm sure that's a rough translation but the sentiment is really nice and wholesome. (Cr: Menya Kokoro) I'm glad he found success in such a short time and now so many people get to enjoy his delicious mazesoba.
There are 3 different outlets in Singapore, so if you're ever in the area do check them out if you have a hankering for mazesoba!
Thanks for reading!
To find out more about me, check out my intro post here!
In memory of one of my favourite floofy internet doggos also named Kokoro who's just passed away last week. 😥