Monday, July 23, 2012

Kokoro Ramen @ Melbourne CBD

If there was one good thing about Brisbane (in actual fact, there's more than one), it would be the existence of good ramen. Make that excellent ramen or out of this world ramen. For those in Brisbane, it is no other than Hakataya

In the recent cold weeks, one of the things I was looking out for was ramen steeping in bowl of incredible pork stock. One of the names suggested to me was Kokoro Ramen. Always one to try a recommendation, I went in on a weekday lunch, ordered at the counter and waited. 

I was presented with this. 


If I had to make comparisons with my favourite Brisbane joint, it would be as follow:

1. Stock - One of the things I figured out AFTER the meal was that the stock I had was a mix of chicken and seafood stock. While not a bad thing, there is a difference to the taste and texture (the one in Brisbane being slightly gelatinous). Some say that the stock can be a little on the salty side. a little research will tell you to add sweet corn to balance that out (unless you hate corn). Overall, I still prefer my favourite Brisbane joint. 

2. Pork - Hakataya serves thinly sliced melt in your mouth pork while Kokoro serves it differently. There's two different cuts, a melt in your mouth block of pork belly and a leaner and drier cut of pork roast. The winner is in the pork belly and it being in a generous thick cut means it has won over my stomach and takes the point from Hakataya. 

3. Noodles - I have read complaints about Kokoro ramen either being cooked too soft and what not. Pleased to report that there was nothing wrong with mine. However, Hakataya does give an extra free serve to anyone who is not full after their first bowl (noodles only). 

4. Condiments - Hakataya serves their rather plainly; pork, noodles, soup and sesame seeds while looking at the above picture, you can add eggs, corns and many more. On top of that, there's 4 different stocks to choose from and many more toppings as well like soft shell crab, chicken and etc. For those always wanting to try something different, Kokoro does the better job while you could say Hakataya does what is does best. Each to its own.

Overall, I still think Hakataya does it for me and how I long for a bowl of their ramen but instead of sulking I can pop into Kokoro ramen and console myself that this is quite good too.

Now the quest is to find one that tops both of them in Melbourne. Any suggestions?

Address and contact details:

Kokoro Ramen on Urbanspoon

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. One of the things I didn't compare is price and pricewise during lunch, Kokoro wins with my bowl of extra egg and corn coming in at $12. I believe Hakataya serves theirs for $13 with almost no condiments. 


Sean said...

oooh, three half-slices of egg instead of just two! that's an attraction :D

Michelle Chin said...

go to ramen-ya after peak hours. that's what my sister said.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

mchin: let me give it a try.

sean: well they give half an egg and i paid like a buck or two more for an extra egg, so that adds up to 3 halves!

noMnoMnoM said...

Hello from the Gold Coast! I just had Hakataya Ramen over the weekend and it was delicious! If you ever head up to QLD again, you can try Ichiban Boshi's ramen (they have a wide variety). Thanks for sharing!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

nomnomnom: haha if i ever head back to qld, im heading straight back to hakataya!