Sunday, July 24, 2011

Menya Mappen, CBD

I know I'm once again late jumping on the bandwagon of the trendy Japanese noodle house/cafeteria-style dining that is Menya Mappen, but that sin was soon repented for as I jumped into the back of the queue as fast as I could get there. Lured by the promise of fresh udon, tempura mountains and bargain prices, this place was a dream come true. Plus there was bukkake - no not that sort, you pervert; though if you don't know what I'm referring to, do NOT google image search that. I'm talking noodles. Oodles of noodles and piles of deep-fried things. If I'm no longer making sense it's because I'm writing this at 4AM and I am almost delirious. Me gusta.

Ontama Bukkake, Menya Mappen
Ontama Bukkake Udon $4.90 (small)

My ontama bukkake udon is such a pretty picture that I almost hesitate to mix it all up, but I eagerly pierce the egg yolk and mix it through the noodles with a squirt of lemon. The thick udon was slippery and chewy, and I revel in its starch-y, carb-y satisfaction. Soft-boiled egg yolk coats the noodles and adds a slightly creamy consistency to the tsukedashi broth, while the lemon juice lends piquancy as a refreshing contrast. Yet all the component comes together in an oddly harmonious combination, with crisp tempura flakes and chopped shallots. No, my description doesn't really makes sense but it was delicious. Why are you even reading this? Just look at the pretty pictures.

Ontama Bukkake, Menya Mappen

Oh man, look at that lovely and thick liquid yolk. Foodgasm. Just look at it. I want that inside of me. That's what she said. (I'm really showing my age now, aren't I?)

Beef Udon, Menya Mappen
Beef Udon $6.90 (regular)

I asked Tim how his beef udon was. He replied, "it's so delicious I want to cry." I snatched up some of his noodles and broth and indeed, I would have shed a tear of joy for I had been touched by an angel of deliciousness. Chewy udon noodles bathed in a flavoursome kakedashi broth that was meaty and almost sweet, accompanied with and tender sukiyaki wagyu beef and moreish tempura flakes. Hallelujah.

Zaru Soba Cold, Menya Mappen
Cold Zaru Soba $4.90 (small)

The second time I came to Mappen, I had a cold with the most awful sore throat, so I went for the cold Zaru soba without the tempura flakes. The nutty soba was refreshing and made all the better with a dip in the chilled tsukedashi broth. This would be amazing to have in summer.

Soba dipping, Menya Mappen
Dipping the soba
Photo courtesy of Charlotte

Tempura Bowl, Menya Mappen
Tempura Don $7.90

Charlotte ordered the tempura don, a bowl of rice topped with a heap of assorted tempura, drizzled with tempura. I was jealous of her deep-fried mountain. Our other dear friend was Mr. Dang, the wonderful and beautiful man who should be a model deserves a mention because he is just so amazing. He also ate a mountain of tempura. After smashing through a bowl of bukkake.

Tempura Prawns, Menya Mappen
Prawn Tempura $2.50 (each)

Crisp, golden tempura prawns. Coated in that beautiful flaky batter, deep-fried to perfection. Inside was soft, sweet prawn meat; dip in tempura sauce and it's even better. I could eat scores of these. And die of heart failure. But die happy.

Vegetable Kakiage Tempura, Menya Mappen
Vegetable Kakiage Tempura $2.80

I hadn't anticipated the size of the vegetable kakiage tempura, the compact mound of fried grated vegetable was initially confusing to tackle. After a few attempts at picking it up with chopsticks and taking bites out of nearly solid ball, I decide to tear off pieces with my hands. Compromised of various shredded vegetables (I think mostly onion and carrot), it is coated in a thin layer of batter that is surprisingly non-soggy, even in the centre. However it can get oily and cold if it's been left too long - so always grab the freshest tempura from the back of the tray!

Tempura Sweet Potato, Menya Mappen
Sweet Potato Tempura $0.50

Best best best - sweet potato tempura. It may not be the prettiest picture and I was wary of it at first, but all doubts left my mind, heart, soul, mouth when I took a bite. Super soft sweet potato encased in tempura batter? I don't know, it just works.

Menya Mappen
Skyview Plaza, 537-551 George Street, Sydney 2000
Telephone: (02) 9283 5525

Menya Mappen on Urbanspoon


  1. Dancing soft boiled egg yolks shall plague my dreams tonight.

  2. oh yum ive been wanting to come here all winter but never got to :(

  3. somehow i missed this post but DAMN i LOVE Mappen -- cheap food with as much deep friend, oily tempura i can get? definitely a favourite!