I went to a Japanese ramen restaurant located in the CBD recently since it always looks like it’s crowded. The ramen’s portion is pretty big, enough for someone with a relatively large appetite, or it can be shared between two people (that is, if you’re not too hungry). I like the customization that it allows for customers, for example, if you find the portion too small, you can add extra toppings and/or noodles. I won’t consider it to be the best ramen I’ve tried, but it’s quite conveniently located, opens everyday, and not too pricey for its portion.
– General Review –
- Service: 7/10
The restaurant can get so crowded sometimes that you’d be put on the waiting list. Except the waiting area is quite small, so you might have to wait outside instead where there’s no shelter. All the seats are indoors, so they’re non-smoking. I love how they provided self-serving for kimchi in case you’re hungry while waiting for your order to be served. There are information placed on every table about customizing your own ramen, in case customers don’t like certain toppings (ie. red ginger). However, the waiters don’t take your order, you have to pay at the cashier yourself and only cash is accepted, so I thought that’s quite inconvenient.
** Tip: In case you didn’t bring much cash with you, there’s an ATM located near the entrance, but I’d suggest preparing some cash to bring around beforehand.
- Servicescape: 7.3/10
I quite like the warm and cozy atmosphere at Kokoro Ramen. The walls, tables, floors, and many other decorations there are wooden so it felt quite homey. The restaurant isn’t too big and is usually bustling with people, so you might not feel like you have a lot of space to yourself since the tables are placed quite closely to one another. It exuded a bit of Japanese touch through its decorations, my favourite being the large sake bottles displayed against the wall.
- Non-smoking area: Yes.
- Vegetarian dishes: Available, but very limited.
- Price range: $ (AU$10 – $15 for most ramen dishes.)
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
– Food Experience –
1) Kokoro’s Homemade Pork Gyoza (Pan Fried – 6 pieces):
I personally liked the gyoza – it was delicious! It wasn’t too fried and oily, the skin of the gyoza wasn’t too thick nor dry, and the pork inside was still really juicy. Plus you can opt for the healthier alternative and request for steamed gyozas instead.
2) #13 Tonkotsu Shoyu – Pork Belly:
The soup was pretty good, not as spicy as the miso ramen, but I thought it generally lacked a little flavor. It may be salty but it lacked in overall taste. I really liked the noodles for the ramen dishes that I’ve tried here (mainly the thin mosomen noodles), they were thin and springy, so it doesn’t cut off too easily. Topped with spring onions, seaweed, black fungi, sesame seeds, Ajitama egg and red ginger. So for those who don’t like any of those, take note and you can opt to remove them when ordering.
3) #41 Sapporo Miso – Miso Ramen:
The soup wasn’t very salty but I felt like it was a little rich, probably due to the chili oil that was added into the soup, so I couldn’t drink too much of it. The soup was also a little thicker than that of the Tonkotsu Shoyu’s Pork Belly ramen. The pork belly was a little tougher than I expected, but the egg was soft and not at all crumbly. Topped with beansprouts, spring onions, seaweed, bamboo shoots, sesame seeds and ajitama egg.
4) #41 Sapporo Miso – Miso Ramen with extra Fried Chicken topping:
Basically the same as the Sapporo Miso Ramen, but with extra Chicken Karaage (or Fried Chicken) for the topping. I personally wouldn’t add anymore fried stuff though, the taste and oil might become too overwhelming. There’s also nothing much in the dish that helped remove oiliness or to cleanse the palate.
5) #06 Tokyo Shoyu – Fried Soft Shell Crab with extra Pork Belly:
The noodles for this dish is different because it uses the thick (Chijiremen) noodles. It’s topped with spring onions, bamboo shoots, naruto fish cake, sesame seeds and ajitama egg.
Contact number: +61 3 9650 1215
Website: Kokoro Ramen
Posted by: V