|Bukkake ontama mentaiko, Menya Mappen|
I was dead wrong.
This post is about my fourth time to Mappen since the first time I stepped on the restaurant's entry. The first three saw me dating with the one and only ontama bukkake and not one other menu. That's a good decision, but I wish I had browsed the menu more thoroughly because apparently ontama bukkake can evolve into something even more magical.
I went here with some friends from Indonesia, one of them being a Indonesian food blogger Umay, determined to show them some of the best eating spots Haymarket area has to offer.
Mappen looks as inviting as always, and thankfully it was post-lunch hour so there werequite some seats for four.
|Menya Mappen, Skyview Plaza|
I almost think that you may not need any description of the interior anymore, as this restaurant is very well-known these days. But here's a short one for those who aren't in Sydney to experience this cool place first hand.
It feels almost exactly like a restaurant in Japan I often see in Japanese movie/drama. Blame it on the genius use of wooden benches and all of the interesting wall posters. The posters are all in Japanese, but I'm assuming it's kinda like movie posters. The appearance of students in their uniforms also somehow enhances the Japanese-feel.
|Posters on the wall|
By now I don't have to see the 'how to order' banner. I know exactly what to do: take your drink, order your noodle/rice dishes, take some tempura, pick some small jars of cold side dishes and dessert of you like, and finally you can take spoonfuls of shallot and tempura flakes before paying.
The staffs behind the counter is really friendly, they will happily explain a menu if you aren't sure about something. The way a soft boiled egg cracked here is enough to make you slip an 'oooohh' when watching.
|Noodles station, with a pot of magical soft boiled eggs|
The tempura selections aren't much changed, but they look as amazing as always. The options start from prawn tempura to takoyaki (deep fried octopus balls) and sweet potato tempura.
|Prawn and chikuwa (fish cake) tempura|
|Okura and chicken tempura|
|Takoyaki (deep fried octopus balls)|
I don't usually take a cold dish, but this time I grabbed a small jar of kimchi ($1). And of course some spoonfuls of the tempura flakes and shallot.
|Cold dishes fridge and shallot & tempura flakes|
Here's the star of this visit: bukkake ontama mentaiko which is hot noodles (udon) with tsukedashi sauce and chilli cod roe butter and soft boiled egg.
Chilli. Cod roe. Butter. The name only already tickles my whole being. You may not be able to see it, but the chilli cod roe butter is pink, hidden in the mountain of tempura flakes in my bowl below. The egg had split open when my leg unintentionally nudged the table. So sadly I couldn't poke my egg this time to see the golden lava.
Anyway, the butter has definitely put the humble ontama bukkake into a higher level. Mix them all up, and you'll get slippery udon coated either with creamy egg yolk or wondrous cod roe butter or, even better, both. It's a very satisfying and marvelous bowl to say the least.
|Left: bukkake ontama mentaiko with udon ($5.9 - R); right: chicken ($1.8) and sweet potato tempura ($1)|
The other tray had ontama bukkake with soba, along with the great, ear-splitting-crunchy kakiage tempura (thinly sliced vegetables coated in tempura batter). I'm sure it tastes as great as always, and the moans from my eating companions proved me right.
|Ontama bukkake with soba (R) - $4.9|
|Kakiage tempura - $2.8|
The sight of ontama bowl was the first time for me, and it turned out to be a bowl of rice topped with soft boiled egg, some dried seaweed, and roasted sesame seeds.
|Ontama small bowl - $2.9|
We left Mappen with the friends planning to make another visits here before they go back.
I was planning to take them to Messina, but they didn't feel like walking that far after hours of getting lost on their way from the airport to the hostel. So I figured that maybe the sight of making gelato with liquid nitrogen at N2 may psyche them just as much. I was right once again.
We only tried a flavour: peanut butter and jelly. I don't know why they put a cone on top though.
The peanut butter flavour is so intense it made me cringe at my first lick, just because I'm not a best friend of peanut butter (don't judge me). The second lick had me enjoying the smooth texture of the gelato, and some small chunks of peanut. By the third lick, I admired this cup of goodness. The jelly is tart, goes perfectly well with the creamy and intense peanut butter gelato, and we wished there was more of it.
|Peanut butter and jelly - $6|
Mappen may have some rivals popping here and there now, but it will always be number one in my heart.
Currency: $1 = IDR 9,500
Rating: 5/5 (Must try)
I've said this and I'll sat it again: awesome noodle menus, awesome tempura, service is quick and friendly, price is very affordable, ambiance is really nice and very Japanese, but you cannot stay for too long when it's peak hours.
Shop 11, 537 - 551 George Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9283 5525
Web: Menya Mappen