This visit to Manpuku had been long overdue, and boy was it worth the wait. The friendly service, and the menu filled with a variety of ramen and other novelty Japanese snacks and drinks made the restaurant feel authentically Japanese.
On to the ramen:
The Kono Deaini Kanashashite… (seriously the name of this ramen is 15 words long) or as the waitress referred to it as “Long Name” is a Manpuku specialty soy based pork and chicken soup ramen that is not available anywhere else in Australia.
The broth was flavourful, with the richness of the pork and saltiness of the soy complemented by the addition of chicken broth. Manpuku offers their ramen with three different types of homemade noodles. Each ramen comes with the noodle type especially chosen to suit the soup base. In this case it was wavy noodles that was chewy and perfectly soaked up the broth.
The Aburi Chashu Ramen was packed full of ingredients – fatty slices of seared pork belly, sliced mushroom, two gooey half eggs, two seaweed sheets (which I’m a big fan of in ramen) and bean sprouts.
The broth was creamy, rich with porky goodness and wasn’t too salty. The premium dry noodles matched well with the broth. They had a bit of bite to them and didn’t take on too much of the rich broth, which would have made it too heavy. It’s a big bowl to finish, depending on the size of your stomach.
We were more than satisfied with the ramen, but I have to say the sides were pretty impressive too. We ordered the Pork Gyoza and the Okonomi Sticks.
When porky broth oozes out of a dumpling when you bite into it, you know you’re onto a winner. The gyoza wrappers were slippery and paper-thin, with a caramelised bottom and crispy netting. It was pretty much on par with the ones I had at Ippudo in Kyoto, which is saying a lot.
I had never seen Okonomiyaki on a stick before, so it jumped out at me off the menu. It had a crunchy crust and familiar, gooey okonomiyaki on the inside. There was a good amount of vegetable and seafood in there as well. And it was actually quite easy to eat off a stick!
Manpuku makes me feel like I’m eating in Japan again, which is great. I can’t wait to go back to try everything else in their menu.