Manpuku, Chatswood

Manpuku is a ramen res­taur­ant and one of the most highly rated in Sydney, let alone Chatswood.

It’s situ­ated a fair dis­tance from the main bulk of shops on the main strip of shops in Chatswood but it’s worth the drive (or walk).

Like most oth­er cas­u­al din­ing Japanese res­taur­ants, there’s a self-serve area for water and oth­er con­di­ments with tips on which ones go best accord­ing to the soup base.

To start, this is the Octopus Karaage ($7.90). The serving was aver­age, on the small side, and each piece was a bit oily. That aside, the octopus itself was tender and fresh, with a light bat­ter, although they could’ve used longer in the fry­er as they weren’t quite crispy and the big­ger pieces were rather rub­bery and slimy.

D tries their ‘long name ramen’ oth­er­wise called Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijyou to Jyounetsu Komete Issyoukenmei Tsukutta Uchirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku Shiawase ($14.90). It’s their spe­ci­al­ity ramen using a soy-based pork and chick­en soup with wavy noodles, pork belly, bean sprouts, bam­boo shoots, shal­lots, sea­weed sheet and nit­amago egg.

Not many ramen res­taur­ants mix pork and chick­en soup in their broth but here it gives the rich­ness of pork-based broths with the clar­ity of chick­en-based broths. While slightly on the salty side, the noodles had a tooth­some bite with tender and juicy slices of pork belly. The serving of noodles here is gen­er­ous and D did not feel the need to order extra noodles as he does at Ippudo.

This is the Yuzu Shio ($16.90), a salt based chick­en soup with medi­um straight noodles, bam­boo shoot, nit­amago eggs, chashu, cori­ander, shal­lot, lime, sea­weed sheet, yuzu chips and yuzu paste.

I find it hard to pass up any­thing with yuzu in it, and here the yuzu fla­vour provides a fresh cit­rus note to the broth that’s well com­ple­men­ted by the fra­grant cori­ander notes that bring a SE Asian twist to ramen. The noodles again are a gen­er­ous por­tion and have an enjoy­able tooth­some bite with the chashu being tender and thickly cut, while the bam­boo shoots added a wel­come crunch to the bowl.

The addi­tion of the yuzu paste (above) brought the pleas­ant heat of chilli while retain­ing the bright­en­ing the yuzu fla­vour fur­ther in the broth (already fla­voured with yuzu chips).

Ramen is still not some­thing I turn to for com­fort like it is for many, but along with the bowls at Ramen Bar Goku, the ramen I’ve had Manpuku eas­ily slips into my top two ramen spots with both hav­ing attent­ive and friendly service.

Manpuku is loc­ated at 226 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067.