When in Manila and you’re craving for a solid bowl of authentic Japanese ramen, there’s no place to go but Kokoro Ramenya. Tucked neatly in a nondescript building along Roxas Boulevard, it is a well-kept secret among ramen connoisseurs, ready to be unleashed on a hungry public. So one Saturday afternoon, my friend Nikko and I served as the hungry public and visited their store.
The thing about Kokoro Ramenya is its level of authenticity. One step into the restaurant and what greets you is not its gorgeous minimalist décor or its fleet of accomodating staff that welcomes you, it is the clientele. The customers are mostly Japanese, and not merely Japinoy like myself. I took this as a good sign – a cuisine restaurant patronized by locals of that country? It could only mean true blue legit ramen.
Their house specialty: the Classic Hakata aka The Explosion of Flavors aka Party in Your Mouth
The house’s specialty is its Classic Hakata, a ramen bowl bursting with both flavor and awesomeness. The noodles are bouncy and obviously fresh, because the noodles are handmade everyday. The pork bone broth is divine, a result of 18 hours of boiling. The toppings balanced this hefty bowl, with chashu (pork) that practically breaks apart when you pick it up, kikurage (crunchy mushrooms), and a creamy soft-boiled egg that melts in your mouth. This masterpiece is prepared on-the-spot by Chef Susumo Murata, a native Japanese who has been in the industry for 30 years.
The coffee jelly and ice cream: a perfect combination of authentic coffee, milk, and vanilla ice cream
Nikko and I were treated to a unique yet sumptuous dessert in the form of coffee jelly and ice cream. The dish had a special kick to it, especially from the coffee, which tasted really bitter. I’m not a big fan of the drink and was about to write it off as exclusive for coffee lovers, but instantly fell in love with it when I ate it with the vanilla ice cream. It was a smooth palate cleanser and went down nicely.
The elegant and minimalist interiors of Kokoro Ramenya
The interiors are just as lovely. It is a modern take on Japanese minimalism, with an abundance of wood that keeps the place elegant and cozy. Kokoro Ramenya maximizes natural light, offering a breathtaking view of Roxas Boulevard and Manila Bay. Even their restroom is elegant, a testament to the Japanese code of cleanliness.
Kokoro Ramenya is a new addition to the ramen craze in the Philippines, but it can clearly compete with the best. So when in Manila and you want a taste of Japan, try Kokoro Ramenya!
Kokoro Ramenya is located at 2/F Avenue for the Arts Building, 1388 Roxas Boulevard cor. Sta Monica St., Ermita Manila
Phone Number: (02) 254 9716 and 254 9438
Operating Hours: Mondays to Sundays, 11AM to 11PM
Experience authentic Japanese ramen with Kokoro Ramenya!