We've just returned from Japan with major post-holiday blues, all we can think of is going back to Osaka. The only thing to cheer us up is Japanese food - we head for Menya Mappen noodle bar in the city. Twice.
Menya Mappen is a 'self-serve' noodle bar - first choose your main dish from the menu above (click to enlarge).
Order at the counter and your food will be prepared in front of your very eyes.
When your goose is cooked, slide your tray along cafeteria style. Add chopped green onions,and tempura crumbles to your noodles or don.
Choose some extras including tempura (including a huge slice of sweet potato for 60c, clumps of onions and prawns, chicken or fried bean curd), green tea, miso soup and various veggie sides. Then pay when your tray can slide no further.
Keke - noodle with kakadeshi soup $3.90. On our recent Japan trip my favourite dish was the simplest of simple plain noodle soups, often purchased at train stations in stand-up eat and run joints for around 280 yen, around $3. A perfect breakfast: rehydrating, salty and carby. This is all I wanted and at Mappen Menya I got it. For only $3.90. Very happy.
Curry: noodle with homemade curry - $5.90. Udon noodle soup with a healthy dollop of Japanese curry on top. We developed a taste for Japanese curry on our recent trip: it's like curry your nanna would make, simple and comforting, a little sweet with chunks of carrot and beef, far more beef than you get in Japan.
Beef: noodle with kakesashi soup & sukiyaki wagyu beef. $6.90. With soba noodles.
Mini beef don - rice and sukiyaki wagyu beef - $4.90. Sweet tender beef, a little Yoshinoya (Japanese food chain specializing in beef bowls) in Sydney...
Zaru: cold noodle with dipping soup. $4.50. A dish we didn't get around to on our last trip to Japan, it's wonderful to be able to have it back at home. Love those soba noodles!
Dunketh your noodles in supplied broth for maximum pleasure.
Sides\toppings - menma (fermented bamboo shoots), sweet potato tempura (think potato scallops\potato cakes using sweet potato - yum!), seaweed and 'mountain herbs'. The mountain herbs included little fern fronds, something we love and haven't found since were last in Bali.
Taro paste - open packet and squeeze - it's so tastless yet mysteriously delicious at the same time.
More sides\toppings - vegetable and prawn tempura (tasted like onion rings with prawns, yum), soft boiled egg, tofu tempura, seaweed and rice ball.
Dig the Japanese movie posters on the wall.
Instructions on how to order, remember to return your tray and dishes like good boys and girls.
Menya Mappen is at Shop 11, 537-551 George Street, City. Past the cinemas, next to Pepper Steak. Phone 9283 5525. Opening hours Sun to Wed 11.30am - 10.00pm Thu to Sat 11.30am - 10.30pm. http://www.menya.com.au/mappen/index.html.