A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published September 5th 2012
Cheap and Quick Japanese Noodles
I have to admit that what initially drew me to Menya Mappen was the affordable price. I was in the Sunnybank Plaza vicinity, hunting for a budget, quick eatery and had to look twice when I saw the menu outside the noodle bar as the prices were remarkable - $5 for a full noodle meal? This is almost unheard of in Brisbane!
When we entered the noodle bar, I was again surprised as we were transported to Japan. The tiny shop was reminiscent of my trip to Japan many years ago when we were poor students surviving on cheap but delicious noodles. In Japan, most of these noodle shops do not have chairs and you have to eat standing up but Menya Mappen had unique crate-like wooden boxes to sit on.
The interior décor takes you back to a historical era with retro Japanese posters on the wall. The décor definitely adds to the romantic and cosy atmosphere, so different from the normal modern, contemporary establishments. The seats are also set up in a way that there is plenty of privacy between yourself and other diners. This authentic noodle bar was established in 2010 and originated in Sydney. There are two branches in Sydney, one at George Street, Sydney CBD and the other at Bondi Junction.
The noodle bar is self-serve, so we had to order at the counter. The noodles are served quickly onto a tray, it is quite interesting watching them make it in front of you and this provides reassurance about its freshness. You can then choose other additions like shredded vegetable and shrimp tempura to add to your meal before paying. Tempura shavings are free of charge as well as chilli powder.
We arrived quite early so we did not have to wait but halfway through our meal I looked up and there was a long queue snaking out the door, ranging from student types to families to office workers off for the day. Obviously, this is a very popular establishment.