One of the best in Tokyo for Taiwan Maze Soba is Menya Kokoro (麺屋こころ). Now with several branches around the world, their version is the perfect introduction to this soupless ramen.
Menya Kokoro and Taiwan Maze Soba
Taiwan Maze Soba is a mixed, soupless ramen that was actually invented in Nagoya in the 70s – not Taiwan. There are 2 general styles. One is garlic-heavy and fattier (“strong”). The other is milder (“mild”).
Kokoro’s maze soba falls under the “mild” category. But it’s bursting with flavors and textures. Crunchy negi, nira, and bamboo shoots accompany seaweed, a big egg yolk, fish powder, a rich soy sauce, and both minced pork and pork cubes.
When you order at Kokoro, the staff will ask if you want garlic. You’d think adding garlic would tip the scale to the “strong” style. Yet the overall flavor is still “mild”.
Normally, it’s the minced pork that can get quite spicy. But at Kokoro, this is not the case. Instead it’s the egg yolk and its creaminess that commands the bowl.
Menya Kokoro’s Mini Empire
Menya Kokoro has 15 branches in Japan and many outside of Japan, including in Indonesia, Singapore and the Philippines.
If you have the time, I would recommend visiting their flagship branch in residential Ookayama. It’s worth the trek.
Flagship (Ookyama) Shop Hours: 11:30 am ~ 3:30 pm / 6 pm ~ 10 pm (9 pm on National Holidays)
Takadanobaba Shop Hours: 11 am ~ 3 pm / 5:30 pm ~ 10:30 pm