157-159 Lonsdale Street
(03) 9650 1215Mon to Sat 11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Located near the corner of Russell and Lonsdale, I was really looking forward to trying this much-lauded ramen cafe. S and I went on a Sat night. We were greeted and escorted to our seats but were advised to order at the counter.
From all accounts going through Kokoro's website menu and seeing the cafe almost full with steaming bowls of ramen, I was anticipating good things to come.
Starters of complimentary help-yourself Kim Chi and preserved veggies were standard fare.
The fried chicken as entree was lacking the taste of ginger and a tad greasy.
However, the deep-fried shrimp was savoury, crunchy and full of flavour. For the uninitiated, the shrimps are to be eaten whole, including the heads, which are packed full of flavour.
The huge recommendation on Kokoro's menu was the Hokkaido Butter and Corn Ramen. The soup was almost inedible. Sickly gluggy, extremely salty and with a lack of true stock flavour, the ramen itself was starchy with a gluey texture, leaving us with a very unpleasant nauseating aftertaste.
S ordered the Tonkatsu broth Ramen. It was a major disappointment. The soup was gluggy once again, thick with a strong offensive odour. Taste of true pork bone stock that has been tendered to for hours produces a unctuous aroma and a sweet taste of deep multi-layered flavours.
I am not entirely sure whether it was an off-day for Kokoro Ramen, but it was certainly one of the worst dining experiences we had. For those wanting to give Kokoro a go, please note it is cash only.