If you’re craving Japanese and want something flavourful but also inexpensive, Manpuku is just the place! It’s a small, “modern Japanese eatery” located within walking distance to the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).
Like I said, it is small. It’s housed within a food court but has its own space. Even though the place is small, it does have two floors for seating with a good amount of seats.
Since my friend Anila and I were going to be eating quite a bit that day, we decided to share an appetizer and a main dish.
For our appetizer, we ordered the Takoyaki ($4.99). We were told that it would take a bit for this dish but we were okay with that. The takoyaki came in a set of 6-perfect for sharing between two people. After being freshly grilled, the takoyaki was covered with takoyaki sauce, katsuobushi, and aonori.
Each ball was a good size, especially for the price. It was soft but not mushy. The piece of octopus inside was a generous piece.
From past experiences, I’ve had takoyaki where there’s barely any octopus, so this was a surprise. Inside, the octopus was seasoned and all but the takoyaki sauce, katsuobushi, and aonori helped to elevate the flavour more.
Like I said, Anila and I were sharing everything because we had a whole day of eating planned out, so we wanted room for everything. We decided to order the Yakitori Don (~$10). It came with two sticks of grilled chicken and egg with a bed of rice.
The grilled chicken tender and so flavourful! The yakitori sauce used to marinate the chicken was really good. The rice was soft but I needed a little more rice for the amount of chicken given. There was a lot of sesame seasoned on top of the rice. Like A LOT. I had to make Anila take the side with the most because it was too much for my liking.
The dish was tasty in general, however, it was kind of small. And for its price, I would expect a bigger serving size.
For a cheap eat, Manpuku is definitely a good place to go. I would go back and try other items on their menu, like their ramen. I mean, you can’t go to a Japanese place and not try their ramen! Until next visit!