You Can Now Try Kyoto's Popular Soup-less Ramen In Manila
The ramen shop is at Uptown Mall, BGC.
There are tons of ramen concepts that have veered away from tradition. A relatively new concept that you probably have not tried is Mazesoba-pronounced as ma-ze-so-ba, which means to mix noodles. What's unique about it? Well, Mazesoba is actually broth-less ramen.
In Kyoto, one of the famous ramen shops that specialize in Mazesoba is Menya Kokoro. Chef Takuma Ishikawa, the founder of Menya Kokoro, opened the restaurant in 2013 and has won the Best 2014 Mazesoba Award in Japan. The Mazesoba he is famous for is the Tokyo Mazesoba (P350), a serving of thick soba, slow-braised cashu, spicy minced pork, seaweed flakes, raw egg yolk, soft boiled egg, ground saba dish, green onion, minced garlic, seaweed, bamboo shoots, and chives.
You can mix this, as you would with other saucy noodle dishes, but there's actually a recommended way to eat Menya Kokoro's saucy Mazesoba! The four steps are simple: mix the noodles, add Menya Kokoro's signature kombu-vinegar sauce when you're halfway through your bowl, slurp the noodles, and, to make the most of the sauce, mix it with rice. It's fun because this concept of pag-simot is very Filipino!
According to Akihiko Koga, the Franchise Director of Menya Kokoro, he says that Menya Kokoro's kombu-vinegar is special because it adds an umami flavor to the Mazesoba that will change your palate. He says, "In Japan, there are three kinds of umami. One is bonito, the second is kombu seaweed, and the third one is shitake mushroom. So, we use all. The fish powder, the kombu-vinegar, and the mushroom soup."
Menya Kokoro has other Mazesoba flavors besides the Tokyo Mazesoba. They also have the Spicy Mazesoba (P370), Vegan Mazesoba (P380), Zenbu Mazesoba (P470), Cheese Mazesoba (P430), and the Curry Mazesoba (P430) and each order of Mazesoba comes with a complimentary Mushroom Shoyu Soup and a portion of Japanese rice. Don't worry if you can't handle any heat, Menya Kokoro's Mazesobas are available in a non-spicy version.
Just as how creative ramen chains tend to be creative outside Japan, Menya Kokoro will soon be catering to the Filipino palate. Akihiko says, "After three months, we will start to serve the Filipino menu. We understand that Filipinos love rice. We will serve rice, but of course, with the Kokoro flavor."
What could their Filipino flavors be? We think it could be along the lines of a Sinigang Mazesoba or a Sisig Mazesoba. Any guesses?