Danger Will Robinson. There’s a new ramen joint in town! And when I say ‘town’ I mean the general area of Sydney. Manpuku (482 Anzac Parade, Kingsford) has only been opened for less than a month and already it’s popular with the locals and especially the UNSW students. The first time we rocked up we managed to arrive at 2.05pm and they’d completely sold out of ramen. SOLD OUT. We were sad. And all the more determined to return.
So our next visit we deliberately arrived early around 12ish and waited approx 15mins which gave us plenty of time to ogle those inside and debate our choices. The system is basically you’re only allowed into the restaurant once a table is free, once you get the go ahead aim straight to the front and pay and grab your table number and then back to your table you go. Chilled water is free and is self service from the water keg out front or there’s soft drinks available. We were also very amused by the constant cries of sha, shaaaa! thinking they were doing a hadouken cry and fireballing out ramen. Turns out we weren’t too far off and they said it when a bowl of ramen was ready for pick up lol
I have chosen the Manpuku Black ($13.90), a garlic flavour soy based pork soup (minus the bean sprouts because I hate bean sprouts with a firey passion). The garlic flavour isn’t too intense and doesn’t completely overpower the soup which is tops. I’m not sure why but I prefer ramen with garlic that isn’t too strong but just enough that you can taste it though I prefer El Jannah’s garlic sauce to smack me in the mouth with garlic potency. That was a little off topic but anywhos! Loved my ramen but I think next time I’d ask for no mushrooms. Ramen lovers- is it normal to have mushrooms in ramen?
Noods has deliberately chosen the longest ramen name on the menu not caring what it was: Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou to Jonetsu Komete isshoukennmei Tukutta Ochirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku shiawase Ramen ($12.90). Basically the menu explains it’s a Northern Japanese style soy based pork soup. Not too sure why the long name.. anyone? Noods’ bowl looked smaller than ours but it’s a deceptive looking bowl and seemed to never end which was good for Noods because when he has to wait in line for food he gets hangry.
Jabs has gone for the Shio Tonkotsu ($12.90), a salt based pork soup. IT IS AMAZING! Intense porky flavour, though not as thick as Gumshara (though really, who else is) and so freaking incredibly satisfying from our sneaky dips into his bowl. Noods and I end up returning the following week to order this and added extra pork ($3 pieces $4.70) because the pork? IT IS ALSO AMAZING! Fatty and melt in the mouth amazing. The extra pork comes out in a side dish and while initially not as melty soft all it needs is some time to bathe in the tonkotsu soup.
If you’re coming from the west like us, the travel time is a killer. But I reckon Manpuku has knocked off Ryo’s from it’s #2 position on my ramen list and is a close contender with Gumshara and Ippudo 😛