Kokoro Ramen

Posted on | January 10, 2012 | 12 Comments

Kokoro Ramen

There’s something about ramen that seems to inspire almost fantatical devotion.

If I hadn’t eaten truly good ramen before, I wouldn’t understand it. Because if you break it down, ramen is just noodles in broth. But it seems to be more than the sum of its parts. It can be amazing: nourishing, comforting, and filling. In particular, tonkotsu is fantastic – it’s made by boiling pork bones for hours, and results in a creamy, salty pork broth that’s also sticky and creamy and full of flavour.

So when the guys from doublecooked advised that a new ramen joint had opened on Lonsdale Street, I took Alastair and Bro down there quick smart.

There’s a big ramen menu: three tonkotsu soups with varied toppings, such as vegetables, charshu, pork belly, soft shell crab, fried chicken, spicy mince and butter and corn. Also on the menu for those who don’t like tonkotsu (do those people even exist?) is the option of a broth made with chicken and seafood.

If you like, you can customise your own bowl by selecting your broth and adding your own toppings (the price of toppings range from $1 – $8). And I only gave it a mere glance, but on the back page of the menu there was a selection of rice dishes for those not into noodles.

Tonkotsu shoyu ramen

But back to the ramen!

Alastair had the tonkotsu shio (salt base, pork and chicken stock) with pork belly ($14.50)

I had the tonkotsu shoyu (soy sauce base, pork and chicken stock) with pork belly ($15)

Bro tried the tonkotsu miso (soybean paste, pork and chicken stock) with pork belly ($15.50).

All the bowls came with a decent slab of tender pork, half an egg, pickled bamboo and seaweed. Mine also had wood ear fungus.

Tonkotsu shio ramen

Naturally I had to taste all three soups and after sticking my spoon into the boys’ bowls, I decided that I liked the tonkotsu shio broth the most. The tonkotsu miso came a close second – it had a touch of spiciness that was really enjoyable. For the tonkotsu shoyu, I found the soy sauce too distracting – I preferred the cleaner flavour of the shio.

All the soups had that lovely creamy porkiness but they were also quite salty and would be much, much better if the salt levels were pulled back. I think mine (the shoyu) was the saltiest – it was very much a salt bomb. Not that it stopped me from drinking all the soup. :p

The noodles were thin and made on site. They were pretty good – nicely springy.

Kokoro ramen

Is it as good as ramen in Japan? Not quite. However, it was still enjoyable (tho salty) and with every new ramen place that opens in Melbourne we inch closer to ramen perfection, so Kokoro is a very welcome addition indeed.

For more on Kokoro, see Doublecooked and Thanks for the smile.

View Off the spork in a larger map

Kokoro Ramen
157-159 Lonsdale Street
Phone: (03) 9650 1215
Web: Via Facebook

Kokoro Ramen on Urbanspoon


12 Responses to “Kokoro Ramen”

  1. Fatbooo
    January 10th, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

    Sounds worth visiting! I’ve just been to Don Too and enjoyed my Tsukemen (dipping) ramen, which i remember being featured in an anime episode I watched, got so excited I got to eat it in real life.

    As for authenticity, i have NO idea, but…. enjoyed it heaps, although it was also salty.
    Fatbooo recently posted..Laksa Bar


    Agnes Reply:

    I’m hearing mixed things about Kokoro from people who’ve visited after we went. Hmm, I still think it’s worth a try.


  2. penny aka jeroxie
    January 10th, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    Nice to know that there is a nice ramen shop in Melbourne. Now I feel like heading to Gumshara soon
    penny aka jeroxie recently posted..Suckling pig ham


    Agnes Reply:

    I think Sydney ramen is still much better than anything in Melbourne. :)


  3. msihua
    January 10th, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

    Yayy!!!I want to go now! MUST GO!!!
    msihua recently posted..Plantation @ Melbourne Central, Melbourne CBD [The Mad Coffee Trail - Part 2]


    Agnes Reply:

    C’mon then – you eat out enough, schedule it into your eating diary. ;)


  4. Ashley Ng
    January 11th, 2012 @ 8:47 am

    Haha, I love the bowl, so sexy and natural huh? :B Looks like a great addition to the Melbourne Ramen scene! :)
    Ashley Ng recently posted..Pillar Of Salt


    Agnes Reply:

    Hehe the bowls were so funny. :D


  5. Hannah
    January 11th, 2012 @ 8:45 pm

    Apparently there’s a new ramen place in Canberra getting good responses, but I don’t think I trust my ramen skills enough to accurately judge :P You’ve brought back lovely, lovely memories of my time with Evan in Japan though, so thank you for that :)


    Agnes Reply:

    I’m sure you can rely on your tastebuds – if it tastes good, then it’s good. :)


  6. EatPlayShop
    January 12th, 2012 @ 9:15 pm

    I love the ramen battle happening in Melbourne! Gotta try this one out soon!
    EatPlayShop recently posted..Eat. @ Home – Yum Cha Style Mango Pudding


    Agnes Reply:

    I love the ramen battle going on too – can’t wait until we get a place that blows my socks off. :D


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