Menya Kokoro – Japan’s Most Popular Mazesoba Chain Has Arrived In Singapore At Suntec City. Go For The Spicy Noodles
Japan’s most popular and largest restaurant Mazesoba chain Menya Kokoro has arrived in Singapore, opening its first outlet at Suntec City Mall Level 3.
The first shop you see once you get to Eat At Seven.
(Click PLAY for video highlights of Menya Kokoro Singapore.)
The Japanese dry ramen brand has opened 27 outlets worldwide within a short number of years, including Japan, Indonesia, Spain, Thailand and Vancouver, and looks set to expand further.
The local store in Singapore is helmed by the founder Chef Takuma Ishikawa himself, who trained under the originator creators of Mazesoba, and once won the Best Mazesoba Award in Japan.
Therefore, you will be assured of the ‘Japanese-quality’.
With all that said, I won’t be surprised if some people may not know what “Mazesoba” is.
Singaporeans are typically fond of their tonkotsu-style ramen, and some may still be unfamiliar with Mazesoba. A friend described this as ”Japanese Bak Chor Mee”. He is not that wrong either.
Mazesoba, literally translated as “mixed noodles” is a type of broth-less ramen, particularly popular during the hotter summer months.
So even though there is “soba” in its name, the dish is technically “ramen”.
To me, the appeal in the noodles is about the mixture of all toppings and sauces. Even though there are many ingredients and so much going on, when all are mixed together, they create this complex but blended flavour with satisfying mouthfeel.
The five types of Mazesoba on Singapore’s menu range from the original Tokyo Maze-Soba, Cheese Maze-Soba, Curry Maze-Soba, Spicy Maze-Soba and Vegan-Maze-Soba, together with some Singapore-exclusive creations.
Here are some of the recommended items from Menya Kokoro Singapore:
Tokyo Maze-Soba ($10.80++)
This is the original flavour, made with the same secret recipe as Japan.
There is something about the noodles that is different. They are made using fibrous whole-wheat flour and purified water, said to be softer and more suitable for use in noodle-making. Accordingly, Singapore’s water is too ‘hard’, and using softer water helps the taste of the noodles to stay truer to its flavour.
One interesting thing I also noted that the noodles are cooked for a relatively extended time, at precisely 8 mins 40 seconds.
This is because the noodles are thicker (perhaps just slightly thinner than udon), and needs to be cooked that long to create that chewy texture.
Each bowl has a lot of ‘liao’ and contains up to 12 ingredients, which includes minced meat sauce, ground saba fish, nori (seaweed), green onions, chives, bamboo shoots, fragrant chopped garlic and poached egg. You can also include Japanese-style slow-braised chashu at an additional $2.50.
Give the bowl a good mix and toss before consumption.
The most appealing part is the richly favoured minced meat sauce, slow-cooked Japanese-style with a secret recipe. This may remind some of ”Zha Jiang Noodles” with a hint of spice, with a good deal of crunch coming from the chopped vegetables.
Each Maze-Soba comes with a free small bowl of mushroom kombu-based soup (tasty!) and oimeshi – a small portion of Japanese rice you can add to the remaining sauce.
Spicy Maze-Soba ($11.80++)
Personally, this is my favourite bowl, but the spiciness is likely to divide people. Some of us shared this bowl – a couple enjoyed the kick, the shiokness which result in some sweat to break out.
There were others who thought this might have been too fiery for their liking.
And here I am, asking them to add more of those spicy oil. When the spices and meat sauce coat the noodles, the sensation was like having a good-old bowl of comforting Mapo-Tofu.
Melting Cheese Maze-Soba ($12.80++)
This is the Tokyo Maze-Soba with a layer of cheese, then torched for that smokiness.
I wasn’t that sure if the cheese really added that significant difference in terms of taste. It’s a ‘good-to-have’ but not a must-must.
Vegan Maze-Soba ($11.80++)
A vegan bowl that comes with a colourful medley of fresh vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, and shredded cucumber. The ‘meat’ you see is made of soy, and the girls in the group found this refreshing.
Maze-Don and Curry Maze-Don ($13.80++) – Singapore Exclusives
The Singapore exclusives uses 100% Japanese rice instead of noodles, and topped with Maze-Soba toppings.
Special rice flown straight in from Hokkaido and Niigata is used, polished only upon order to preserve the aroma. Known as the “King of Japanese Rice”, the fluffy short-grained rice is compatible with stronger and richer flavours like the Maze-Soba toppings.
Some people may find the typical Curry Donburi ‘boring’, so this version includes both succulent grilled chicken AND the minced meat sauce for fuller flavours.
A range of side dishes is also available on the menu, such as Gyoza ($4.80), Agadashi Tofu ($4.80), Lemon Chilli French Fries ($3.80), Truffle Fries ($3.80), Chicken Karaage ($4.80), Chashu Platter ($5.80) and Edamame ($4.80).
Chicken Wings ($4.80++)
Recommended are the Chicken Wings done Nagoya-style. That means the wings are deep-fried without batter to a crisp finish, basted with sweet-savoury sauce and coated with sesame seeds.
Addictive coating with juicy meat.
Chicken Karaage ($4.80++ for 4 pieces)
I described these as “chicken balls”. These are not the typical frozen then deep-fried type, but made from fresh chicken chunks marinated and rolled to a ball, then deep-fried.
Therefore, they are larger than usual and sufficiently moist.
The popular Osaka style street food comes with delicately thin crisp exterior, and soft creamy batter within those little round balls, drizzled with Japanese mayo and topped with bonito flakes.
Menya Kokoro Weekday Promotion (18 Oct to 30 Nov)
Weekdays Lunch: Regular Tokyo Maze-Soba with Small Agedashi Tofu set & Genmai Tea $12.80++ (UP $16)
Weekdays Dinner: Regular Tokyo Maze-Soba with small Takoyaki set & Genmai Tea $14.80++ (UP $17.2)
3 Temasek Boulevard # 03-313 Suntec City Mall Singapore 038983
Tel: +65 6235 3386
Opening Hours: 11am – 10pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with Menya Kokoro.
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