Helen and I dined at Manpuku recently to try out the Japanese food and also to catch up. I really do love catching up with friends over good food!
Manpuku is located immediately on McCaul Street to the side of the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) next to the food court in the Village by the Grange. I wasn’t expecting it to be so small and tucked away, but it resembled a small little Japanese pop-up shop that you find in Japan.
We got a seat and took a look at the menu. There weren’t too many items on the list and I quickly decided on an ramen and an appetizer. We ended up sharing the Tsubugaiyaki (clam dough balls) as well. Yay for yummy food!
I really liked the Manpuku Ramen that I had. It was a chicken soy sauce broth base ramen. The ramen noodles were really good and the pork was tender. Yum! The only thing was that because the soup base was soy sauce based, it tasted a little salty than I would have liked.
When I saw that they served tofu nuggets, I had to get that to try as well. The first time I’ve had them was at Kinton Ramen where I discovered that something so simple tasted so delicious. Even though the name is tofu nuggets, I found out that the texture resembled chicken nuggets instead. I just had to try how the tofu nuggets tasted here at Manpuku as well. So I did order them and they weren’t as delicious as the ones at Kinton Ramen unfortunately. Oh, well, it was worth a try!
The Tsubugaiyaki, clam dough balls, were a little disappointing. They resembled takoyaki squid balls except that these tasted very doughy. Helen tried one and didn’t like it at all. I found the dry shrimp that was on top of the clam dough balls an interesting addition to the dish.
All in all, this was a nice little spot to eat. I can just imagine that the OCAD art students from next door come here all the time to get lunch. The prices are reasonable and some of the items are fairly unique too. I had wanted to try their natto and udon dishes but wasn’t in the mood for either dish when I arrived. If I ever visit this shop again, I’d like to try those out. :)
Have you been to Manpuku before? What was your experience like?