Mappen Noodle Bar, Sydney


Mappen Noodle Bar is where N and I go when we want to stop think­ing about wheth­er some place is good to eat and just fill ourselves with reli­ably good and afford­able food. Usually, that means we’ve had a long week and need a break from our habit of try­ing new res­taur­ants.


I love udon, but hav­ing since dis­covered the ease with which I can rep­lic­ate the fla­vours and tex­tures at home, I’m here to sat­is­fy my crav­ing for rice bowls with two mini rice bowls and tem­pura sweet potato.


This is the Mini Ontama Bowl ($2.90), a half boiled egg, dried sea­weed and egg yolk powder on rice. The com­bin­a­tion of the oozy egg with the umami from the crunchy sea­weed, egg yolk powder and dashi broth drizzled over, is ridicu­lously sat­is­fy­ing. I could eat bowls of this!

And so I do. At $2.90 the mini bowl is a steal and this reg­u­lar sized bowl ($3.90) which comes with an extra egg is even more so.

Japanese curry is com­fort food and this Mini Curry Bowl ($3.90) with Japanese curry sauce and pickled radish on a small bowl of rice hits all the right spots. The curry has a sweet, gentle heat in the curry over tooth­some rice.


I’m always on the look out for some good karaage, so this is the Mini Karaage Mayo Bowl ($4.90), with deep fried chick­en, dried sea­weed, sour ter­iyaki sauce and mayo on rice. This karaage was under­whelm­ing, though, as the chick­en breast lacked the juici­ness of the thigh, which is usu­ally used, and the bat­ter lacked the crispi­ness of good pip­ing hot karaage. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all kinds of sat­is­fy­ing like Ippudo’s.


Lucky for me I snapped up the last piece of tem­pura sweet potato ($1.20)! The bat­ter is deli­ciously crispy, which con­trasts beau­ti­fully with the starchy sweet innards.


And N shares her takoy­aki, which had a crunchy exter­i­or hid­ing mushy — in a good way — innards, which reminds me of the ones made from frozen pro­duced by Jun Pacific (a post on them later). Like most food, it would’ve tasted much more sat­is­fy­ing pip­ing hot.

Mappen Noodle Bar is loc­ated at Shop 11, Skyview Plaza, 537 – 551, George St, Sydney NSW 2000.