Good news for Japanese food lovers in the neighbourhood of Cheras! My recent trip to Cheras Leisure Mall has led to the discovery of this newly opened Kokoro Japanese Restaurant in Taman Segar-- a family-friendly establishment which focuses on homey Japanese main courses and desserts.
Tucked along the same row of shoplots with Dragon Door Steamboat (龙门客栈) and Inside Scoop, outdoor parking can be tricky here but you can always park inside the shopping mall and walk over. Inside the restaurant, the ambiance is warm and cosy, simply perfect for casual dining with family and friends.
Iced Blueberry Honey Vinegar Drink @ RM10.90
Iced Hojicha Latte @ RM10.90
To begin our gastronomical journey here, we have something more exciting than the usual plain green tea. Kokoro’s signature drinks, the Honey Vinegar and Hojicha both use premium ingredients imported from Japan such as the blueberry vinegar which has health benefits in reducing blood pressure, as well as Japanese Hojicha powder that makes the beverage richer and creamier than usual.
Salmon Sashimi with Special Sauce @ RM18.90
To tantalize our taste buds, we have our first try on the thick and juicy salmon sashimi served on a bed of secret mustard sauce that tastes very rich, yet not pungent at all. The overall combination is a total surprise to me, so palatable and delicious.
Grilled Pork Belly Don @ RM16.90
As for the main course, first timers must try the grilled pork rice served with a side of salad and Miso soup. If you’re a serious pork lover, you’d gonna get hooked upon the first bite into the juicy slice which is heavily coated with sweet sticky sauce and roasted sesame. Portion wise, it is quite sizeable and great for sharing.
Claypot Seafood Udon @ RM15.90
Another hot dish that interests me is the Japanese Nabe, a hotpot generously loaded with seafood ingredients, creating the naturally sweet broth that suits both young and old. Dig into the seafood goodness, and you’ll find some udon noodles at the bottom, so chewy and filling for me. .
Gyumuyo Matcha Parfait @ RM17.90
Lastly, what not to be missed here is actually the green tea dessert! Kokoro uses only premium Gyokuro green tea powder-- one of the most expensive types of sencha in Japan-- to create its very own version of soft serve ice cream. It appears creamier and richer with just the right balance of bitter sweetness.
I am totally blown by the dessert! Layered with crispies, Green Tea Kit Kat, whipped cream, nuts and lots more; how can I resist that? The parfait is also available in Hojicha flavour, another great option for those who don’t fancy green tea.
1. If you are up for some neighbourhood Japanese dining with a taste closer to the local preference, then Kokoro is the right place to visit.
2. Comfort food with decent ambiance and affordable price. Set lunches are equally good for the working crowd to enjoy a sumptuous meal below RM20.
3. Recommended: Hojicha Latte, Matcha Parfait
Kokoro Japanese Restaurant
16, Jalan Manis 4,
Sun - Thurs: 11.30am - 10.30pm
Closed on Fridays