>> At A Glance
Image taken from Cocoro’s website.
* Restaurant name: Cocoro (Marylebone branch)
* Cuisine: Japanese
* Address: 31 Marylebone Lane, London, United Kingdom, W1U 2NH (also have branches in Bloomsbury, Highgate, and Bayswater areas in London)
* Opening times: Everyday 12.00 – 16.30 and 18.00 – 22.30
* Phone: 02079352931 (Marylebone branch), 02074360660 (Bloomsbury branch), 02083406000 (Highgate branch), 02072219790 (Bayswater branch)
* Website: cocororestaurant.co.uk/en/ (menu available)
* Overall flavour: 4
* Price for portion: 2.5
Whilst pricey food is nothing new for Central London, £13 for a single bowl of ramen is more on the expensive side for me. The portion fills you up, but I’ve had ramen bowls with similar or even more content for considerably less (i.e. around £6 – £8).
* Service: 4.5
Many of the waitresses were very friendly and responsive. They were constantly willing to top up our tap water, even without us asking. All of our orders were served nice and steamy within ten to fifteen minutes. Nevertheless, it was quite difficult to call the waitresses for ordering food and requesting the bill as not many of them circulate downstairs. That being said, they were very lenient in letting my friends and I talk for a while after we finished eating, even as we chat towards their closing time!
* Venue / ambiance: 4
Centrally located in zone one, the place is rather accessible and is close to multiple tube stations (Oxford Circus, Marble Arch, Bond Street, and Regent’s Park). The restaurant itself is quite small inside; chairs and tables are laid out on the upper level, whereas horigotatsu seats are available on the lower level. My group took a horigotatsu spot and the lighting as well as layout downstairs successfully establish a relaxed and dynamic atmosphere that is perfect for gatherings. Furthermore, curtain dividers are available between the horigotatsu seats, thus providing some sense of privacy even in an arguably tight space.
* X factor: ramen toppings
Various ramen toppings were served separately on a dish on top of the ramen soup. This serving style allows the freshness of the toppings to be preserved and ultimately enables customers to appreciate the different components all the more.
* Overall experience: 4
>> Dish By Dish Review
* Tonkotsu Ramen for £13 : 4
Click to enlarge.
The texture of the ramen is springy, smooth, and just amazing. The ramen soup comes with eclectic toppings including but not limited to pork slices, half an egg, seaweed, pickles, and onions. All of the toppings compliment each other and the broth extremely well, although more vegetables portion and variety as well as a whole egg serving instead of half would be much more ideal for the price. Additionally, the broth itself may come off as too salty for some people, and the apparent monosodium glutamate (MSG) aftertaste doesn’t necessarily help either. Overall, what goes into the broth is delicious and tasty, but the Tonkotsu broth itself could use a few tweaks. That being said, this dish is perfectly filling and I would recommend it for rainy days, which is notorious for being abundant here in London!
>> Other Opinions (on the Marylebone branch)
* On a food, travel, and cooking blog called “Eat Noodles Love Noodles”
* On a food blog called “The Boozy Bunch”
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