With 18 branches in Japan, 3 in Jakarta, 1 in Singapore and 1 in Vancouver, Menya Kokoro by Japanese Chef Takuma Ishikawa is the first Tokyo Mazesoba specialty shop in Manila.
Maze-soba, invented by a Taiwanese chef in Tokyo, literally means mixed noodles. It’s like soupless ramen and more like udon, with similarity to the Taiwanese la mien or the Chinese lomi.
We tried all the items on the menu and here are some tips to have an awesome Tokyo Mazesoba experience with your family.
First Things First
Menya Kokoro is located at the former location of Gelare and Cara Mia on the 3rd floor, where the cinemas are, of Uptown Mall.
It’s a fast-casual ramen shop with a Mazesoba-focused menu and side dishes.
The fried chicken was small, crunchy outside and tasty inside and served with a special sauce.
Order Kirin beer and edamame beans while you wait.
Have some fried tofu cubes for something light.
For the Kids
This takoyaki was a bit smaller than usual, and it resembled a fried ball with a soft tasty inside.
We had to fight over it with our son.
This gyoza will never fail to satisfy your kids’ dumpling cravings.
Take note that the Mazesoba is spicy so request for a non-spicy version for your kids.
Mazesoba in 3 ways
Try the original mazesoba served with buckwheat noodles topped with chives, leeks, nori, a special minced beef and egg.
First Way. Mix all the ingredients until the noodle is coated with a thick layer of sauce coating.
Sip the dashi soup with mushroom in between bites to enjoy the original flavor.
Second Way. Halfway through, pour three rounds of the special konbu (seaweed) vinegar to clear your palate and add a whole new umami flavor to the noodle.
Third Way. Once you finish all the noodle, order the oimeshi (a complementary rice bowl) to clean the remaining sauce.
It’s best specially when you order the curry maze soba version.
Order additional serving of chashu to enjoy with the rice.
You can order the all-in topping version with chashu cubes, bamboo shoots and tamago for additional ₱120.
My favorite was the spicy version. It was not so hot and the spice was actually enjoyable.
I would order the curry for its sauce specially for mixing later with the rice.
For the kids, order the non-spicy cheese version.
I’m actually craving for another bowl of Mazesoba as I write this blog post. At first, you would think that it’s just another ramen hype but once you try it, you’ll go back for more.
I would recommend the Spicy Mazesoba for chili lovers and the Curry Mazesoba if you like the Japanese curry flavor. The kids would enjoy the appetizer side dishes. Make sure to order the non-spicy version for them. Budget about ₱500.
Service is quick and turnover is fast, perfect for those times when you want to have a quick meal before watching the movie or a filling quick lunch with friends.
Congratulations to Malvin Ang (who also owns Brotzeit) for a successful Menya Kokoro launch in Manila!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: Our meal was courtesy of Menya Kokoro. I wrote this article with my biases, opinions and insights.
P.S. They allow you to take out the Mazesoba so that you can satisfy your craving at home!