Kokoro Ramenya: Authentic Japanese Ramen and More

Monday, September 03, 2012
Japanese cuisine has always been and will always be my ultimate comfort food. So with a rainy August, we decided to check out Kokoro Ramenya, a new ramen house along Roxas Boulevard, to satisfy our craving for a hot hearty bowl of Japanese noodle soup.
Kokoro Ramenya Restaurant

I've already seen Kokoro Ramenya's facade prior to the visit. However, I didn't expect the ramen house to have such a wide space. And since we timed our trip on a Saturday afternoon, we were welcomed by a lovely, naturally-lit restaurant adorned with Oriental accents, warm color scheme, and a sleek table setup for a touch of modern comfort.

Kokoro Ramenya Restaurant

Although there weren't a lot of diners during our visit to Kokoro Ramenya, we have still brought with us a high bar of expectation. We've heard that this is easily becoming a new favorite ramen destination of Japanese expats and locals alike. And with a Japanese chef, Chef Susumo Murata heading the kitchen, we somehow knew we're in good hands.

The Side Orders

Our group of four were very excited to check out Kokoro Ramenya's ramen selection. And to our surprise, this new ramen house has a wide list of not just ramen items, but also a variety of Japanese dishes. So before we got on to our main course, which in this case has to be ramen, we first enjoyed the other gustatory treats the restaurant offers.

Wakame Salad P195

First on our table was this serving of Wakame Salad (P195) which came with not just thick strands of wakame, but also with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and kani sticks. While I can already enjoy wakame as it is, the savory miso dressing made the ensemble even better. Every spoonful was a joy, and we definitely can't get enough of this salad.

Gyoza P155

We then enjoyed this plate of Gyoza (P155), four pieces of pan-fried Japanese dumplings served with a soy-vinegar sauce. Unlike most gyozas I've tried from other restaurants, Kokoro's Japanese bundles of goodness were plump and meaty. You really get what you pay for as they don't scrimp on the juicy and tasty meat-loaded filling.

Ebi Tempura P275

Of course, we also didn't miss getting the Ebi Tempura (P275) when we saw it on the menu. One order is made up of four big catches from the sea, coated with batter, fried to a perfect crisp, and then served with a sweet and salty tempura dipping sauce. Yum!

Chirashi Sushi P285

We couldn't go into a Japanese restaurant and not order sushi. And since we wanted to try a lot from their nigiri sushi selection, we just opted for the Chirashi Sushi (P285) -- a bowl of sweet vinegared rice topped with fresh salmon, tamago, kani, ebi and unagi sashimi. Normally, this serving would also have tuna sashimi, but being salmon lovers, we requested if they can just take out the tuna and add extra slices of salmon instead.

Mixed Teppanyaki P345

We also ordered the Mixed Teppanyaki (P345) which had seafood, beef, pork, chicken and mixed vegetables on an iron plate. Among this plateful of sautéed goodness, I enjoyed the seafood, beef and mixed veggies the most. Every piece of meat was very tender and flavorful, while the vegetables on the other hand, were savory and crunchy.

The Noodles

After enjoying an array of filling and great-tasting authentic Japanese dishes, we finally got down to trying out the noodle items which come aplenty at Kokoro Ramenya.

Hakata Classic P325

We first tried the Hakata Classic (P325) among the list of the restaurant's ramen items. Dubbed as one of the specialties of Kokoro Ramenya, this hearty bowl is made of rich and creamy tonkotsu (pork bone) broth which was boiled for 18 hours, freshly-made ramen noodles, and toppings of kikurage mushrooms, chasyu pork and ajitsuke tamago. Every spoonful is subtly tasty and so comforting making it truly perfect for a rainy day.

Gekikara Ramen P275

We also ordered a serving of Gekikara Ramen (P275), an extra spicy miso-based noodle soup with chasyu pork and crunchy beansprouts. I honestly don't go gaga for spicy dishes, but we wanted to find out how spicy Kokoro's spiciest noodles can be. And boy, we were wrong to have dared them! This bowl is by far the spiciest food I've ever had in my entire life. It's even spicier than the Nongshin Shim Ramyun Korean instant noodles! I seriously couldn't pick up any miso flavor on my first few spoonfuls since my palate was instantly numbed by the chili-filled and infused spicy broth.

If you're curious, I actually brought this spicy noodles home. However, even my spicy food-loving family wasn't able to take in this bowl's extreme hotness. But since I didn't want to throw this order away, I ended up replacing the broth with hot water, and believe it or not, it was still spicy! Well, quite tolerable and definitely edible this time around though.

Curry Ramen P285

After the first two noodle soups, we also ordered the Curry Ramen (P285), a bowl of chicken, vegetables and noodles in a thick and tasty curry soup. Although I generally love curry, I wasn't sure if I'd like its distinct spicy and herby flavor in my noodles. But surprisingly, I loved how flavorful yet still quite mellow this bowl was. You'll get to savor the curry goodness in every spoonful, without it being overbearing and tiring to the palate.

Hiyashi P285

Aside from hot ramen, Kokoro Ramenya also serves other noodle items. And since I was craving for some cold noodles, we decided to get the Kokoro Tsukemen (P285) -- cold ramen with chasyu, spinach, kani, naruto, ajitsuke tamago and nori, served with a sweet and sour soy-based dipping sauce. Although cold noodles like tsukemen are quite simple, I love how refreshing it is on the palate which strongly reminds me of summer.

The Desserts and Drinks

After a fully-loaded Japanese meal at Kokoro Ramenya, we decided to officially cap off our lunch with some of the restaurant's sweet treats. And since there were only a few dessert items to choose from, we opted to try three of them.

Black Sesame Ice Cream P85 Uji Kintoki P85

We first had the Black Sesame Ice Cream (P85), a scoop of vanilla ice cream topped with black sesame syrup. While we expected this dessert to actually be a black sesame-infused ice cream flavor, we were left very impressed at how truly of sesame flavor this treat was. We also got a serving of Uji Kintoki (P85), a scoop of green tea ice cream on shaved ice topped with sweet azuki beans. Simple, refreshing and yummy!

Japanese Coffee Jelly and Ice Cream P85

We also ordered the Japanese Coffee Jelly and Ice Cream (P85), a dessert creation of firm yet wobbly coffee jelly beneath a layer of vanilla ice cream and some evaporated milk. Being a coffee jelly lover, I can say that this treat is my kind of dessert. The jelly has a strong bittersweet coffee flavor which I love, unlike those from other restaurants which are overly sweet. The ice cream and milk are also lovely creamy addition.

Matcha Milk Tea P85 Mango Juice P85

For drinks, adventurous diners like me can try the Matcha Milk Tea (P85), a sweet and creamy green tea concoction perfect even for non-milk tea fans as it generally seems more of a milkshake. Conventional diners on the other hand, can opt for canned soda, iced tea, coffee, juice or fruit shake like this Mango Shake (P85).

THE VERDICT

Our trip to Kokoro Ramenya has heightened my already-undying love for Japanese cuisine. Although prices are leaning a little more towards the higher end, you'll be guaranteed that each item served on your table is of great value for your hard-earned money. And with a plethora of ramen items and other quality Japanese dishes, a bright and spacious restaurant, and a prompt and alert service, Kokoro Ramenya can definitely expect another visit from yours truly really soon.

Taste - 4/5
Ambiance - 4/5
Service - 4/5
Price - 4/5
Overall Value - 4/5


Kokoro Ramenya, Roxas Boulevard
2/F Avenue of the Arts Bldg., (across US Embassy)
1388 Roxas Blvd. cor. Sta Monica
Ermita, Manila
Philippines
(02) 254-9716
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37 comments:

  1. This place seems really worth going to which reminds me, i got an invite to check out their store pero it was supposed to be last August lang :( Too bad i missed out! I forgot about it e :( :( :(

    The chirashi sushi seems super like my kind of thing since i love chirashi don haha :D The curry ramen too looks perfect for a chilly day. It's soo far lang kasi but i will make it a point to go there. Hmmm... making plans now haha

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    1. Aww.. Di bale, I'm sure you'll get to visit Kokoro Ramenya soon. I'm actually planning to go back next week or the one after that.. :D Love their noodles and desserts!

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  2. Now I'm craving for Japanese food. I must visit this place too!

    http://www.dekaphobe.com/

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  3. I had black sesame ice cream before in one of the Japanese restos here in SG. As in black sesame flavor and not just as a topping. It was actually quite tasty. It has a grainy texture to it but the taste was really nice. Not yucky. =)

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    1. I got to try a black sesame ice cream in Corniche, Diamond Hotel too and love it. But although Kokoro's only has black sesame syrup, it's still really yummy.. :D

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  4. drool!! what a feast. and the restaurant is strakly clean. Very inviting.

    it's been awhile since we ate out at a Japanese Restaurant. I sure can't get that photo of Mixed Teppanyaki out of my head.

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  5. WAAAAA! :)) It's a simple place but the food is awesome! I can almost smell their aroma thru my laptop!

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  6. I am not really a fan of Japanese food but I love tempura! Thanks for this detailed review, sis. Ang nice din ng shots mo. Para na rin akong nakapunta sa place. Hehe. Pati chef kilala mo.

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  7. me and my barkada really love japanese food! how could we get there??

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    1. This is along Roxas Boulevard, near Pedro Gil lang and across the US Embassy.. :)

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  8. Everything looks delicious! My husband will surely love that Gekikara Ramen because he loves spicy food. My eyes are riveted on the Japanese Coffee Jelly and Ice Cream, though. I'm sure my son will get all the ice cream, and I'll be left with the coffee jelly. Lol!

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  9. I couldn't forget the gekikara ramen.. Super anghang!! Hahaha :)) Can't imagine we finished everything here except for that :) i have to bring the family here :)

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    1. I'm thinking of bringing the family to Kokoro too.. :D I think they'd like the ramen and the short orders.

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  10. ooh, looks really yummy. i so love shrimps and this tempura is really nice but seems out of my budget though.

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  11. OMG. Me and my sis are so going here! Thanks for blogging about it. I so wanna taste ramen. xD

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  12. i guess Kokoro Ramenya is worth the travel from east to south. their ramen looks delicious! i wanna try the gekikara ramen (as i love the nongshim instant noodles) and see for myself if i can handle the spiciness. :)

    http://kimiviajera.blogspot.com/

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    1. Try it, Kim! :) I'm curious to see what spicy food lovers think about their Gekikara Ramen.. ^^

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  13. Been craving for ramen just last week and then I saw this blog post. :) Will go for a visit there soon since it's only a few walks away from my mom's office. :) :) :)

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  14. yummy! i wonder how, sumi you can recognize the taste from one japanese resto from the other :)

    Rovie,
    The Bargain Doll

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    1. I think when you get to taste a lot of a particular dish, you can really pinpoint na what differs when you try it our in different restaurants.. ^^

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  15. a bit off-topic and since you like ramen, find time to watch a Japanese film TAMPOPO :-)

    one bowl of ramen is enough for me.. and i can't imagine your group eating all what you've ordered haha

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    1. I've heard of Tampopo but haven't gotten around to watch it! :D will definitely do soon! ;) Haha.. I know, we had a lot of food for four people, but I'm proud to say we finished everything except for the spicy ramen.

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  16. can u please correct ur blog? that's not hiyashi, it's called "tsukemen", also cold noodles but dipped in sauce while hiyashi is cold noodles with hiyashi sauce made by mr. susumo murata, an excellent japanese chef. thank you! :)

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    1. Hi Ms. Lyn, thanks for the correction. I already changed the item name on the post.. :)

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  17. interesting yung mixed Teppanyaki pero expensive hehehe :) thanks for sharing this, will check this place soon

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  18. I would actually give this place a 5/5 for the price. Very rarely do Japanese restaurants have food items that affordable :D They look really tasty as well.

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  19. haven't sleep yet.. and i'm craving for ramen noodles!!!

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  20. The food looks so good. I love Japanese ramen & I think it is worth trying

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  21. sarap talaha ng maninit na sabaw :)

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  22. hello po eat all you can po siya? pero bakit po iba iba price? :)

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    1. This isn't an eat-all-you-can restaurant. A la carte po :) You can check the "eat-all-you-can" on the navigation bar above to view my posts about eat-all-you-can restaurants.

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  23. the curry ramen looks delish, my son lives eating ramen. he actually request for me to cook this weekend. :)

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  24. oh, the gyoza is so tempting..=)

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  25. Looks all so delish! Want to try all of them!

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  26. Love Japanese food! Been craving for japanese food cause of the weather. Thanks for posting this. A must try.

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