Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Love me some Japanese まっぺん

Now this is a little side step from the regular cafe brunch sort of food but I could not wait any longer to share this place. I’ve been coming to this little ‘joint’ as you may call it with my friends since high school. My good Irish (yes Irish) friend introduced me to little Menya Mappen hiding behind sliding doors right on George Street so chances are you’ve past it on your way to the heart of Sydney!

We used to go as a little exclusive trio (just us) and they creatively called it the Three M’s for “Menya, Matcha and Mimi” because we would go for Matcha Green tea ice cream for dessert and of course Mimi was me! Now they are both abroad enjoying cold weather in Europe and now I rarely go but... you can only last so long without your hit of Japanese noodle.

Menu comes with spot on pictures to make
life easier!
I always try to order something a little different to the last so this time I opted for a soupy Tonkotsu with Soba noodle (you can choose between Udon and Soba). The extras I usually get is the tempura sweet potato, chicken or prawns but this time I felt like keeping it simple. I also didn’t get the Ontama (half boiled egg) which is always delish since I’m not a hard-boiled-egg-kinda-girl anyways!

Some days call for Soba, others for Udon
If you haven’t guessed already, yes it is a Japanese fast food restaurant but there’s no sushi in sight! Its ‘fast’ as in you slide a tray down the self-service counter and end at the register with your drink, noodles or rice, tempura and extras like kimchi! Too Easy! The noodles are all freshly cooked before your eyes and the tempura is there for you to pick with the tongs! It’s definitely more wholesome and less processed than your American fast food chain options! If you feel a little lost (and don’t want to look like a menya virgin) its best to go with the flow and you’ll be pro in no time!

Octopus Balls - one of the many extras 
Tonkotsu is my personal fav despite
 the cloudy broth!!

It’s not expensive at all but that doesn’t mean a compromise in quality! The serving sizes are just what you need (no more, no less) and the flavours hit the spot. The menu may be a tad overwhelming at first but don’t bother trying to pronounce the names like me (unless you want the chef to cheerily recorrect you so you can hear how far off the pronunciation you were) because pointing to the menu does wonders!

This is one of the places I’ll be going over and over again not just for old time’s sake when my friends return but I’ll never enjoy Japanese noodle anywhere else than surrounded by the Japanese Theatre posters with the bustling city a few metres away and the QVB and Westfield shopping so close by!

You’ll find it at: Shop 11, 537-551 George Street, Sydney, Australia  

So here's to exposing new cultural food experiences!
Pop in for your energy hit before you (like me) proceed to conquer Topshop, Myer and the QVB!