Geek Review: Menya Kokoro

Japanese mazesoba specialist Menya Kokoro is not just an expert in serving bowls of dry ramen – it also impresses equally on the broth front. Come October 1, 2019, its outlet at 100 Tras Street (100 AM) is set to welcome three new ramen additions to the list – two tonkotsu (pork) soup ramen, and one cold noodle dish to beat the heat here in Singapore.

The trio of Beef Sesame Hiyashi, Gyokai Tori Tonkotsu, and Mayu Tonkontsu Ramen will become mainstays on the menu, so diners can look forward to savouring the brand’s signature soft, chewy noodles across different facets of taste and flavour.

Warming up one’s taste buds before the main course is the karaage (fried chicken) and kakiage tempura starter duo. Fried to golden-brown perfection, the chicken pieces are juicy and tender, making it easy for one’s teeth to sink into. The vegetable mix, meanwhile, is crisp and well-complemented with the savoury tang of an accompanying sauce – though it can be a little oily for the health-conscious. Still, the pair sets up the preparation stage well, and ushers in the main star dishes with flair.

Beef Sesame Hiyashi Ramen (S$13.80++)

Designed to beat the heat, the cold-served Beef Sesame Hiyashi Ramen is generously stocked with tender beef strips, cucumber, spring onions, Japanese egg roll, tomato, and crispy tempura bits, before being topped off with a springy onsen egg. The noodles come dipped in white goma paste and sesame oil that when tossed together, gives off a refreshing palate.

The beef, in particular, is of note. The sliced pieces are stringy, but not too much that it becomes overindulgent. Despite its lack of broth, the ramen is hardly dry to the taste, which makes for a pleasant dining experience overall.

Gyokai Tori Tonkotsu (S$12.80++)

Where most broth contains only one base, the Gyokai Tori Tonkotsu (Triple Flavours Soup Ramen) sports a delectable blend of tonkotsu pork, fish, and chicken. The result is a smooth, threadlike consistency that primarily bears the traces of the fish, which while tasteful, might not be to the liking of some. That’s not to say that the fishy tang is extremely overpowering – far from it, in fact – but the balance between the three base ingredients can be further improved.

For those who like a dash of flavour in their food, its light taste may come across as a little bland, although the finely-sliced chashu and ramen do help to add in a bit more of a punch.

Mayu Tonkotsu Ramen (S$12.80++)

Perhaps the best of the batch, the Mayu Tonkotsu Ramen is generously drenched in aromatic black garlic oil, and served with chashu, ramen egg, and seaweed on the side. The piquant soup base does an excellent job toeing between peppery and flavoursome, all while maintaining the same silky consistency. Excessive saltiness proves to be no issue as well, so bid farewell to that scratchy sensation at the back of your throat. An outstanding entry, indeed.

That’s all the new offerings Menya Kokoro has in store, but the entire dining experience is yet to be complete. Sitting beside the mazesoba outlet is a small EMMA stall, best known for their gravity-defying ice-cream concept. Offering both coated and non-coated flavoured options, its costlier price is justified by its velvety, rich texture, as well as the A+ Instagram-worthy aesthetics.

Check it out in action below:

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The Beef Sesame Hiyashi Ramen, Gyokai Tori Tonkotsu, and Mayu Tonkotsu Ramen will hit both Menya Kokoro outlets (100AM and Suntec City) on October 1, 2019, so ramen-loving diners can expect more options very, very soon.