Are you craving for a bowl of savoury noodles? Hailing from Japan, the ever-popular maze-soba chain-store, Menya Kokoro, has recently unveiled its first store on the shores of Singapore! Following our previous unagi taste fest (which you may check it out here), Menya Kokoro will be the latest addition to Suntec City’s Eat At Seven group.
For those who are new to maze-soba, does saucy, savoury and thick noodles appeal to you? If so, maze-soba is definitely a choice meal for you! Maze-soba is a term coined in Japan for dry noodles, or noodles without soup! Maze in Japanese is translated to “mix” and soba in Japanese is defined as “noodles”, so in short, maze-soba are dry mixed noodles.
To further deliver its authenticity, Menya Kokoro air-flies its secret maze-soba sauce from Japan to Singapore to ensure consistency throughout its stores and provide as close to the original taste in its stores in Japan. Sounds exciting? Bring it on.
Coming fresh from its kitchens, we were presented with the Original Maze-soba (Regular: $10.80++, Large: $12.80++). The immaculately plated bowl actually has twelve ingredients in it such as Japanese-styled slow-braised minced charshu, its maze-soba meat sauce, grounded saba fish, nori, garlic and green onions just to list a few. We gave it a good stir before we leapt in.
Having had maze-soba before, we were surprised to find it not as al dente and cloying as the maze-sobas we’ve had in the past, and it blew away our low expectations with ease. While it has a slight chew, it was also remarkably spicy even for its Original bowl, So do take note if you can’t play the spicy game! Add a dash of the vinegar provided and it relinquishes a different taste overall and helps tone down its spice. Also, we kid you not, the regular bowl is a pretty huge portion itself so if you’re keen to take on a challenge, do go for the larger choice instead!
Next, the Spicy Maze-soba (Regular: $11.80++, Large: $13.80++) was shortly delivered in front of us. Although it may look no different than the Original Maze-soba except for its red sheen of chili oil on the poached egg, don’t be fooled by its mild looks. Be warned for an even spicier kick to your taste buds as with each aftertaste, the chili oil lingers. Spice-lovers will definitely savour this dish!
The Curry Maze-soba (Regular: $13.80++, Large: $15.80) is in our opinion, one of the less spicy options on the menu, and any fan of Japanese curry will surely enjoy this fare.
Each maze-soba comes with mushroom kombu soup and oimeshi, which is a small portion of Japanese rice that goes for that remaining sauce of the maze-soba!
If this does not entice you, I don't know what would
For those who prefer rice, good news for you! Menya Kokoro has a Singapore exclusive rice dish option, the Curry Maze-don (Regular: $13.80++, Large: $15.80++), and it comes with grilled chicken cubes as well, which is not featured in the maze-soba option.
If you’re up for some appetisers with your maze-soba or don, Menya Kokoro does offer sides like chicken wings ($4.80++ for two pieces), chicken karaage ($4.80++ for four pieces) and takoyaki ($4.80++ for four pieces).
The chicken wings were slightly oilier and had a distinct soy sauce flavour with black pepper seasoning. This would be a choice appetiser for those that prefer a stronger savoury taste.
The chicken karaage on the other hand, is a hassle-free option of having crisp lightly-battered fried chicken, and definitely refreshing after drizzling the lemon wedge that it comes with!
The takoyaki was soft and delicious, but we do advise to eat it with care, as it may be pretty hot in the centre.
Our clear favourite for the night was the Truffle French Fries ($3.80++). Don’t let its simple dish looks beguile you, for it is light, fluffy and we could not resist finishing this in seconds! We highly recommend this for a starter.
Overall, we were stuffed and satisfied with what Menya Kokoro has to offer, and I will most certainly be back for more!
Menya Kokoro Suntec City, Eat at Seven 3 Temasek Boulevard #03-313 S(038983)