Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba is probably the most hyped and popular Japanese restaurant for the past recent months, and the hype still did not die down. For anyone who has lined up for this restaurant before, do you think it is worth the hype? I have been there for 3 times now, and I think I have tried enough bowls of mazesoba to finally review this restaurant.
Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba is located on Seymour Street, next to the BCIT Downtown Campus. Its signature menu item is mazesoba, which means mixed noodles in Japanese. The multi-grain noodles are freshly made in house every day. A bowl of mazesoba is mainly comprised of spicy minced pork, seaweed, green onion, minced garlic, etc. The most important topping is the raw egg yolk, beautiful laying on top of the noodles. After you finish the noodles, you can get a mini bowl of rice for free to mix in with the remaining sauce.
I ordered different types of mazesoba for the past visits, so I can have a better taste of everything. Out of the last three visits, I have never lined up for this restaurant, as I went there around 5 pm or after dinner time.
On the first visit, I ordered the Curry Mazesoba, and I did not quite enjoy it. There are way too much onion, which covers the overall flavor. However, I never like onions to begin with, so I am biased on this. As the first impression of mazesoba, I was quite disappointed. Though the Japanese curry is delicious, there is barely any meat in the bowl. To conclude my first visit, I think it was not worth the hype, and it was overpriced.
On the second visit, I went with Ethan. Based on my past experience, I learned to order one without the onion. I preferred something simple, Tokyo Mazesoba. We also ordered a Tokyo Iced Milk Tea to share. Instead of onion, the mazesoba has chives. It basically has the same toppings as the curry mazesoba, but without the Japanese curry sauce. I definitely enjoyed it more than the first time, because without the onion, I can finally taste its real flavor. The egg yolk is covered on every string of noodle, and there is a hint of spiciness from the minced pork. However, the after taste from the chives can get quite strong after few bites.
Ethan ordered the “chef special”, Zenbu Mazesoba. It is the most expensive one of all, and it has more toppings, such as slow-braised pork chashu, soft boiled egg, bamboo shoot, and seaweed. He really enjoyed it, and he even ordered it on his next visit. It is definitely filling, but I don’t know how I felt about having two eggs in one bowl of noodles.
The Tokyo Iced Milk Tea is nicely packaged in a bag, and it is brewed with 100% organic black tea. I think it tastes delectable and not too sweet, but there is nothing too special about it.
On our recent visit, I decided to go for their “best seller”, Niku Mazesoba. I also asked for less chives to decrease the strong aftertaste that I had from previous visit. On top of all the regular toppings, the slow-braised pork chashu is the star. It is one of few bowls that has pieces of meat in it. Out of the three visits, I think this is the best bowl so far, because the amount of chives decreases significantly. The spiciness and the yolk juice can almost cover the chives flavor. Unfortunately, the chashu is disappointing, because the pieces are mostly fat, which are unchewable.
I finally tried the Hokkaido Creme Cone after three visits, because they were sold out on the first two visits. It is an organic milk soft serve ice cream made by the Japanese Nissei machine. The ice cream looks exactly like the one sold by Cremia, a well-known Japanese soft serve ice cream chain. It has a wavy shape, which gives a sense of elegance and smoothness. It tastes delicious, but again nothing too special about it. However, the cookie cone is salty, and I am not exactly sure why that is. To me, it did not wow me, and I think it would just be a one-time thing.
Three different visits gave me three different experiences. In conclusion, some toppings can overpower the flavors of other toppings, and I recommend to avoid them, such as onion and chives. I understand where the hype is from, but some food items does not meet my expectation for a hyped restaurant. However, I don’t mind coming here once in a while, as the noodles are always perfectly cooked, and they can get addicting. Though the portion looks small, it is fairly heavy. And remember to get the rice and not waste a single drop of the sauce.
Taste : 3.5/5 • Service: 4/5 • Ambiance: 4/5 • Quality-Price: 3.5/5
|Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba | Instagram | Facebook|
|Address: 551 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC|
|Hours: Mon to Fri: 11 am to 10 pm | Sat to Sun: 11:30 am to 10 pm|