Wednesday, September 16, 2009 1

Manpuku - thick textured udon in smoked bonito broth

By kat in ,

It was Gary's birthday yesterday, so Michael and I decided to treat him to a small dinner tonight. Since both were completely indecisive of where to eat, I chose Manpuku, located in the food court at Village Grangeway across from OCAD/AGO. Although it's located in a food court, the place itself is a small, homey restaurant. I've read on CH that this place has really good udon (which I love!) and it's pretty cheap too, so I was pretty excited about this meal.

We were quickly served by Japanese waiters/waitresses, so +1 for authenticity. The menu is quite small, only 2 types of main course rice dishes (don) that are "prepared with highest quality authentic Japanese rice" and noodle dishes (udon). However, the toppings vary from beef and onions, vegetable or beef with Japanese curry, kameboko fish cake, fried tofu, and Japanese seaweed (prices vary from $3.99 - 5.99). For appetizers, there's takoyaki, takosen (takoyaki ontop of a senbei, which is a Japanese okaki cracker), salad, daily soup and natto gohan. There were also a few more 'special' items listed on the wall, like miso chicken udon and white fish rice that were a bit more expensive, but it seems most of them were sold out already.

I ordered a curry vegetable udon. The udon was chewy but in a good way, 'daan ah'. And they were cubed shaped, compared to the packaged ones I had this morning for brunch which were perfectly round (yes I love udon that much). It also didn't have that plastic, pre-packaged taste -- very yummy to slurp with the hot soup. The Japanese curry was a bit hot, and the so-called vegetables consisted of corn, peas, carrots, lentils and onions. Not too impressive there but for $5.99 a bowl, it was still pretty good.

Michael chose the niku udon, which was basically udon with beef and onions. I had a taste of the broth, it was really beefy. Gary had the wakame udon, plain udon with Japanese seaweed, which he claimed the seaweed taste was too strong. I don't think he likes udon =/.

We also shared a plate of takosen, since I've never seen it before and it looked pretty appetizing from the photo. The takoyaki on top was average, not bad. Sits on top of a crispy shrimp cracker. After a while, the takoyaki would slump down, as if it's really tired and heavy, and stick to the cracker.

If you're in a hurry, you might want to try their onigiri or yakionigiri. Hope it's not the packaged stuff at T&T. If you're hungry, order a don or udon + $2, and you can pick 2 more sides (chips, salad, daily soup or a takosen). Service was very good, kept checking if we needed more tea, and they let us stay half an hour past closing time without a word. I think I'll be back sometime to try the special items on the wall and have a taste of their bonito broth and some more udonnn! Definitely recommend this place if you like udon. And a Happy Birthday to Gary! :)

Manpuku, modern Japanese eatery
105 McCaul Street, Unit 29-31, Toronto ON M5T 2X4
(416) 979 - 6763
Opened: Monday - Wednesday: 10AM - 8PM, Thursday - Wednesday: 10AM - 11PM, Saturday: 11AM - 11PM and Sunday by appointment.

Manpuku on Urbanspoon

One Response to “Manpuku - thick textured udon in smoked bonito broth”

  1. fmmphotoclub says:

    I love takosen. Too bad the takoyaki don't/barely have any octopus in it.

    The onigiri is freshly made. The rice has always been piping hot every time I've ordered them. They usually use tuna as the filling in the rice.

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