I remember those days when I went out and tried the ramen of different Japanese restaurants. All of those dishes were great and definitely heavy on the stomach especially the broth.
So when I heard that there is a Japanese restaurant in Uptown Mall, BGC, that sells dry ramen, I went ahead and tried it out with my friends.
The Menya Kokoro originated from Japan and the Kokoro Mazesoba was created by Chef Takuma Ishikawa in 2013. The Japanese chef later won the Best 2014 Mazesoba Award in Japan for his creation. The flavorful taste of his dishes then later spread in Korea, Thailand, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
The restaurant was brought to the Philippines by the same people who also brought in the Brotzeit Restaurant to the country. While Brotzeit is a casual bar and dining German restaurant, Menya Kokoro is a Japanese dining experience that I truly loved.
The Menya Kokoro is located in the third-floor terrace of Uptown Mall in BGC. They’re open daily the same as the mall hours, which is 10 AM to 10 PM on Sunday to Thursday and 10 AM to 11 PM on Friday and Saturday.
The restaurant is just the average size but the ambiance is really great. The place looks like a simple Japanese restaurant but its subtle hint of elegance made me want to stay even after finishing my food.
Another beautiful aspect of the restaurant is that they have an open kitchen. We enjoyed watching them prepare the food. And the cleanliness of the kitchen made me appreciate the Menya Kokoro experience.
The restaurant serves Mazesoba which is ramen without broth. Mazesoba literally means mixed noodles, maze means mix while soba refers to the noodles. They have a variety of combinations for the Mazesoba. They even have Zenbu Mazesoba (Php 470) which has everything on it. I wasn’t able to try this one on our visit, but I plan to have it next time.
Menya Kokoro also serves Donburi, a rice bowl dish. They have Curry Don (Php 320) and Mazedon (Php 320) in their menu.
For desserts, you can choose between matcha ice cream and black sesame ice cream.
Their price is reasonable and their food price range is similar to the ramen restaurants here in the Philippines.
THE FOOD THAT WE TRIED
The dishes that we ordered of course mainly focused on their specialty, the Mazesoba. The noodles used are made using multi-grain flour and it’s actually thick like the noodles commonly used for Udon. When you order a Mazesoba, it will be accompanied by shoyu soup and a small amount of rice. So finishing a whole bowl of it with the rice and soup really filled me up.
Tokyo Mazesoba (Php 350)
The Tokyo Mazesoba is the classic combination of Mazesoba. It may seem plain at first sight but the taste of it is definitely rich in flavors.
The Spicy Mazesoba has three kinds of chilis or spices on it. We all know that I love spicy food so I ordered it immediately as my first choice. I loved its savory taste a lot. You can also add rice on it. Yes, I know, it’s carbs on top of carbs but when you add the rice, the spice balances everything out. I loved how the addition of rice made it taste great.
Vegan Mazesoba (Php 380)
I’m more into the meat so this dish wasn’t really my first choice. When I got a taste of it, it really surprised me. It has this citrusy feel that made it very refreshing. The Vegan Mazesoba might actually be my favorite. It’s both light and refreshing. I just loved it.
Cheese Mazesoba (Php 430)
Tina liked this dish more. They served it with less spice. The cheese on it is also generous on the serving.
Curry Mazesoba (Php 430)
This is also another favorite of mine. The curry flavor is very strong so be prepared when you decide to order this one.
Takoyaki (Php 140) and Gyoza Original (Php 120 for 3 pieces; Php 190 for 5 pieces)
The takoyaki and gyoza are served hot. Both are really tasty and works great as side dishes. I loved both so I’m definitely recommending these two as my best choice for sides.
If you are not much into spicy food, you can ask them to change the minced meat into something less spicy. You can also opt to add their special vinegar to change the flavor profile. The vinegar is a good option because it gives the dish a refreshing kick midway.
Overall, the food from Menya Kokoro is really flavorful. For the price, they provide good serving size and the flavors are so good that I would say it’s worth it.
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