Tag Archives: Japanese Food

Food & Dining Review: Kokoro Mazesoba Gandaria City

>> At A Glance

* Restaurant name: Kokoro Mazesoba

* Cuisine: Japanese

* Address: Gandaria City Mall (Upper Ground Floor), Jl. Sultan Iskandar Muda, RT 10/RW 6, Kebayoran Lama Utara, Jakarta Selatan 12240

* Opening times: Everyday 10.00 – 22.00

* Social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

 

>> Ratings

* Overall flavour: 5

Hands down, this place serves the best maze soba I’ve ever tasted in my life. Of course, I only had room to taste one of the soba variations they have on offer, but that alone has compelled me to write a review, so I guess that’s saying something. Kokoro’s flavour profile is truly delightful and will certainly leave you craving for more down the line. This in addition to fresh drinks makes Kokoro Mazesoba an ideal place for day/night-outs with both friends and family.

* Price for portion: 4

It’s a tad bit expensive, but can still pass as reasonable considering the typical pricing in mall restaurants. With no soba/don/zosui bowls over 100k IDR, I personally find that the main dishes are more sensibly priced than the drinks and side dishes (e.g. one small chicken katsu pao alone can set you back 23k IDR). That being said, the prices are not too extortionate to the point that the restaurant loses its competitive edge. Check out the full menu here

* Service: 4.5

Interior of the restaurant.

As the Gandaria City branch is relatively new (Kokoro has another branch in Grand Indonesia), the servers were very proactive in encouraging people to try the restaurant. They were knowledgeable about the menu and able to satisfyingly help customers figure out the best dishes to try depending on their interests. Furthermore, they were relatively alert in refilling ocha and offering additional rice. The only aspect that could be improved is possibly friendliness; a few more smiles here and there can go a long way in amplifying the comfortable atmosphere for customers.

* Venue / ambiance: 5

The place is well-decorated; it’s evident that the furnitures and their placements have been carefully thought out. Moreover, I love the elegant yet cozy Japanese street store feel created by the wooden textures.

* X factor: The perfect combination of tangy vinegar and well-made soba is likely to encourage return visits!

* Overall experience: 4.5

>> Dish By Dish Review

* Shio Mazesoba Chicken for 69k IDR: 5

Such an exciting, mild, and yummy dish! If spaghetti carbonara was to be done with a Japanese twist, then this would be it. The portion is generous and filling; there are adequate toppings and all the ingredients taste super fresh. The grilled chicken slices are tender, moist, and well seasoned, just outright delicious. You can add vinegar and chilli flakes to your liking, and I would certainly recommend adding vinegar because its tang complements the soba really well. The chilli flakes are great for adding a bit of spice, too.

Interestingly, all guests are welcome to free additional rice after they finish their soba to make the most out of the remaining sauce. This is the first time I’ve encountered this at a Japanese restaurant in Jakarta and it certainly creates a novelty effect, but I think many people (including me) would be to full to follow up the soba with rice. Overall, I believe Kokoro has successfully lived up to their slogan, “Not ramen, not udon, it’s a new taste!”.

* Yuzu Punch for 35k IDR: 4

A refreshing way to end a heavy noodle meal. This cold citrus punch topped with passion fruit is a great drink as well as light dessert; its fruitiness is a good change from the soba sauce. However, I’m sure customers would appreciate less ice and more punch, so that the ice doesn’t dilute the fresh flavour of the punch too much as it melts.

>> Other Opinions

* Various reviews on Zomato (in Indonesian and English)

* Various reviews on TripAdvisor (in Indonesian and English, on the Grand Indonesia branch)

* An article by the news outlet detikFood (in Indonesian)

>> Previous Post On This Category: King Mango Thai Neo Soho

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Kokoro Mazesoba? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

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Food & Dining Review: Cocoro

>> At A Glance

Image credits: Cocoro

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)

>> Ratings

Rating Scale

* 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”

* Various reviews on:

Square Meal

>> Previous Post On This Category: Red Cow Carvery

Leave a comment below with restaurants you’d like me to review next! 

Are you affiliated with Cocoro? Reach out (christyzee98@gmail.com) and let me know if you’d like me to come back or review any new dishes!

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