23 March 2013

- Eating Out: Ramen Fix at Kokoru Ramenya -

I have a brother RU who's in med school and lives in a condo during weekdays. On Sundays, we usually troop over to his place to get his clothes for washing, clean, bring him his cooked ulam for the whole week, and join him for dinner. As we (me, my other brother JU and our super ate T) all love to eat, we sometimes deviate from our usual routine of eating home-cooked dinners to discovering new lafang places around town. And so, after reading reviews about this hidden restaurant, off we went to Kokoro Ramenya.
Kokoro Ramenya is a Japanese restaurant on the second floor of the Avenue of the Arts Building, along the Roxas Boulevard service road. It's between Pedro Gil and Padre Faura streets... so if you're cruising along the northbound side of Roxas Boulevard, try to get into the service road before Pedro Gil and drive slowly. Good thing the building was so well lighted... else, nalampasan namin 'to panigurado. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and Army Navy share the first floor area. To get to the second floor, there's a small elevator on the right side sa front (if you're facing the building) manned by a nice manang. I didn't see stairs leading to the second floor... baka sa side ng building but I'm not so sure.
First impression was that the restaurant had this very quiet elegance - I totally loved the high ceiling, good space between tables and classy decors. The chairs had half-backrests, para straight body daw pag eating and di mahalata yung tummy. Chos. Hehe. Although the acoustics wasn't really good - pag maingay ang katabi nyo, maingay talaga. I could just imagine the noise when all the tables are filled up. The whole place was bathed in yellow light - very warm ang vibe nya. At lahat ng pictures ko, yellow din. Hehe.
[... And did I mention my love for lamps? ;)]
[Approved ang high ceilings for me. I love the space! Claustrophobic lang ang peg. Hehe.]
[I will one day eat near their open kitchen para manilip. Nahiya lang ako kasi. Nyarks, hehe!]
Diba puro yellow yung tone ng pictures ko? Ganon na talaga eh. Hehe. Moving on to the food, I ordered what was recommended by other foodies:
[Gyoza (Php 155)]
For starters, we shared an order of their Gyoza. I like how their gyoza wasn't dry; it had a little soup-y liquid inside the wrapper which left the meat still juicy even when fried.

[Crispy California Maki (Php 198)]

My brother JU never fails to order sushi in every Japanese restaurant we go to. True enough, he requested for Crispy California Maki. Well, masarap naman but nothing out of the ordinary... except that this one was coated in breadcrumbs for that crunchy bite. 

[Hakata Classic - Sumo bowl (Php 525)]
For the mains, I ordered the Hakata Classic - Sumo bowl as recommended. The Sumo bowl serving was enough for the 4 of us, as we had other dishes to devour. Upon tasting the soup, I laughed at what JU said - that it's a sosy version of Lucky Me's Itnok (egg) flavored instant noodles! Ibig sabihin, magaling gumawa ng noodles ang Lucky Me! :) Hehe! Going back, the Hakata Classic had that milkiness that can very well become a favorite comfort food. I like having eggs in my ramen talaga, so this one's on my list. It is really yummy! Be sure to try it out when you eat in Kokoro.

[Beef Teppanyaki (Php 445)]
Of course, the boys had to have meat, so the Beef Teppanyaki was ordered. Though I am not a fan of beef cut into cubes, I found the beef to be seasoned well and not that hard to chew. (I hate chewing really big pieces of meat, or any big piece of food. That's why I am a fan of lugaw/congee, #thankyouverymuch :p) The corn and bean sprouts sides tasted good as well. My brothers raved about this one and finished it in a jiffy.
Like me, my bro RU is quite the adventurer in food tasting. He opted to order the Chirashi Sushi - unagi, different sashimi (egg, salmon, tuna, crabstick) and roe over rice mixed with sweet vinegar. It was basically a deconstructed sushi, sans the nori. The unagi was really good - and of course, I hoarded the salmon sashimi. #salmonsashimimunsterindahouse
[Chirashi Sushi (Php 285)]

I just ordered one Chahan (fried rice) for all of us because we ordered too many carbo stuff, plus maraming dishes na rice-based naman. For drinks, we had iced tea, which was very refreshing and provided the sweet taste that balanced out the richness of the dishes we ordered.
[Chahan (Php 115)]

[Kokoro Iced Tea (Php 50)]

I distinctly remembered having ordered one Black Sesame Ice Cream (Php 85) for sharing, but for the life of me, I forgot to take a snapshot - dahil the moment it was delivered to our table - naubos agad! As always, black sesame ice cream for me wraps up a great Japanese meal! But I still grabbed a hot drink (I now forgot what I ordered - memory gap) from The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf downstairs - a warm drink never fails to soothe my too-stuffed tummy.

So if ever you're in the Pedro Gil - Roxas Boulevard service road area, do give this resto a try. I can't wait to go back and try their other ramen recommendations!

What: Kokoru Ramenya
Where: 2/F, Avenue of the Arts Building, 1388 Roxas Boulevard (Service Road) corner Guerrero Streets, Manila (between Pedro Gil and Padre Faura intersections)
How Much: around Php 300-500 pax

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