ONE would think that ramen isn’t ramen without soup, but Menya Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba turns the idea on its head with a “brothless” ramen.

Well, it isn’t quite there. Mazesoba, meaning “mixing noodles” in Japanese, is made with thick ramen noodles with a meat sauce, slow cooked and topped with an onsen egg, fish powder, and garnished.

Menya Kokoro Mazesoba was created by Takuma Ishikawa in 2013, and won the best Mazesoba Award in Japan in 2014. To BusinessWorld’s taste, their mazesoba is very filling and the flavors linger to be savored, and the runny egg feels like it coats the stomach.

BusinessWorld sat down with Malvin Ang, Managing Director of Brotzeit Philippines, which brought the brand to the Philippines. “They were looking for somebody to bring it here to the Philippines. We tried it out, and the taste was really amazing. That’s why we brought it in,” he told us on March 14. “This is another experience. It doesn’t have soup.”

Menya Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba currently has two branches in the Philippines: BusinessWorld visited the one in The Podium in Mandaluyong, but there’s another one in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), Taguig.

Mr. Ang also brought Singaporean brand Brotzeit to the Philippines, offering German sausages and beer. It’s most familiar branch, the one in Shangri-la Plaza in Mandaluyong, closed recently due to renovations in the area, but he assured us that there are branches in Alabang and BGC, and said that they are resurrecting it in the area by building another at The Podium.

“When I choose a concept, I look for a concept that’s unique,” he said. “When people buy it, we get them to come back for more. Both Brotzeit and Mazesoba have this effect on me.”

Menya Kokoro Tokyo Mazesoba has branches at the 5th floor of The Podium and the 3rd floor of Uptown BGC. — Joseph L. Garcia