Miss Chicken gives Manpuku the wings-up.
Manpuku is an upbeat little joint. We visit on a Sunday morning, lucky to escape the reported queues. Perhaps the staff are still cranking on their morning coffee because they really seem to be having some fun, there's smiles and laughs out the front and in the open kitchen. The usual Japanese greetings and chants are performed with much enthusiasm and a broad Asian-Aussie accent, we love it.
The menu is brief which is the way it should be, good ramen comes from specialists. And Manpuku's ramen is good, we weren't giggling with food-nerd joy but it was very good. Nice Japanese-y broths and fixin's. The noodles were too thin for our liking but that's a personal thing [edit - one of our readers tells us different ramens have different noodles]. The noodles were massed in big trays along the counter, they didn't appear to be frozen and then defrosted in the hot water. The sound of timers going off in the kitchen also signalled there's some care in how long they are cooked for. Miss Chicken loved her googie egg, a good soft boiled half an egg is a wonder to behold.
Manpuku black - $13.90. A nice rich porky broth given a flavour boost with garlic. Bamboo shoots, a good handful of chopped spring onion and thin slices of black fungus are included. One round slice of pork, you can add more for $3.
Sio tonkotsu - $12.90. Salt pork ramen. Nice porky tonkotsu flavours, kinda milky and not too heavy, it's like Hakata ramen. We don't usually go for cabbage in our ramen but here it didn't overpower the broth, it worked quite well. Same shrooms and shallots.
There's not a big range here, the place is all about ramen. The specialisation into one type of food is common in Japan, it allows for a concentrated effort in getting it right. There's some rice bowls and a few extras to choose from as well as a good bowl of ramen. Perhaps next time we'll try the Manpuku Happy Ramen, the one with the longest name!
Manpuku is at 482 Anzac Parade, Kingsford. Phone 02 9662 1236.
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