One of Japan’s fastest growing maze-soba restaurant chain Menya Kokoro has just recently launched their latest lineup of new ramen and maze-soba dishes

SINGAPORE (Jan 23): Menya Kokoro is actually famous for its maze-soba, which is a Japanese dry noodle dish, featuring thick soba noodles and often marinated minced meat, an onsen egg and garlic. In just four years, the restaurant chain has managed to launch 29 outlets worldwide, with currently three outlets in Singapore. At the helm of the restaurant is founder Chef Takuma Ishikawa, who has 14 years of experience as a maze-soba specialist.

A must-try at Menya Kokoro is the signature Tokyo Maze-Soba (from $9.80). This dish has a combination of up to 12 fresh and healthy ingredients, the Japanese-style slow-braised chashu, minced meat sauce, ground saba fish, poached eggs, nori, green onions, chives, bamboo shoots and fragrant chopped garlic.

Don’t forget to break the egg and toss all the ingredients together to bring the flavours together. 

As Menya Kokoro ushers in the new year, the restaurant has introduced two new maze-soba flavours; the Nikuyama Beef Maze-soba ($14.80) that comes served with a towering pile of tender sliced beef, as well as the classic sweet and savoury Tori Teriyaki Maze-Soba ($12.80). 

Currently, the maze-soba dishes do not have a lower calorie noodle alternative to switch to, but you can up your fibre and protein game, while cutting out some carbs and calories by swapping out half the portion of noodles for an additional serving of bean sprout at no extra charge. 

The restaurant’s new menu launch showcases three brand new ramen dishes, including a cold noodle dish, which is great for Singapore’s weather. The cold noodle dish, which is also a dry ramen dish, comes with beef strips, cucumber, spring onions, Japanese egg roll, tomato and crispy tempura bits. Be sure to mix all the ingredients in the Beef Sesame Hiyashi Ramen ($13.80) then dip the noodles in the white goma (sesame seeds) paste and sesame oil blend that comes on the side. 

Boasting a robust broth, the new Gyokai Tori Tonkotsu or the Triple Flavours Soup Ramen ($12.80) uses a stock that has been carefully boiled for more than eight hours with a trio of flavours: tonkotsu pork, fish and chicken. Another new ramen dish is the garlicky Mayu Tonkotsu Ramen or Black Garlic Tonkotsu Soup Ramen ($12.80) with a piquant tonkotsu soup base that is paired with aromatic black garlic oil.

As good as these ramen dishes sound, those trying to stay trim during the festive season may want to stay away from the carb-laden and high calorie noodles. Here’s a delicious alternative to try: Menya Kokoro is the first restaurant in Singapore to introduce the Kumamoto-style Japanese noodles, which are claimed to be half the calories compared to regular ramen noodles, much lower in carbohydrates and are gluten-free. 

Now, you do not have to shy away from the carb-heavy bowl of noodles for a warm and comforting treat this festive season. You can just opt to switch to the Kumamoto-style Japanese noodles for any of Menya Kokoro’s ramen dishes. 

Options had the chance to try out these unique noodles and they surprisingly taste similar to regular ramen noodles, albeit with a more springy and firm texture that somewhat resembles glass noodles. We also noticed that compared to regular ramen noodles, the Kumamoto-style Japanese noodles do not soak up the ramen broth as much or as fast, leaving you with more hearty broth to slurp up. This is especially great for those who like to savour your food by eating slow.