A few weeks ago I was checking around the new mall in Tampines (Tampines 1) and I saw the entrance to a restaurant called Manpuku. The entrance area was jam packed with people in line to get in and people ogling the items on display in the window:
I met up with my wife there during her lunch break and while we were walking around together we even got to see the mascot. At the time we didn’t know what restaurant or store the mascot represented but it was fun anyways.
We both love to go out and eat, and we particularly love Japanese food, so we were excited about going to check this place out. We finally made a visit to Manpuku today and it was great!
It wasn’t quite what I expected, in a good and interesting way. As you get to the head of the line a greeter will ask you how many people are in your party and will then pass you a corresponding number of cards that look and act like credit cards. The waiter will explain that as you walk around inside the restaurant, you pick different foods from the various stalls and the price of the item is charged to your assigned card. At the end of your meal, you bring the card to the cashier by the exit and settle your bill.
That’s when I realized that Manpuku isn’t simply one restaurant. It’s a collection of restaurants acting under one name, serving Japanese style food. In fact, the place reminded me of a big, themed food court, though a very well appointed one.
Here are some photos we took inside Manpuku:
As you can see from the pictures, the interior of Manpuku is pretty big. It sits at one end of the mall on the 3rd floor and stretches from front to back. There are at least half a dozen different mini-restaurants inside, offering everything from skillet plates to sushi.
The prices have a wide range from a bit on the high side (a four piece sushi plate at 38 bucks) to the affordable (my pork okas was 9.90). I saw quite a few dishes I want to try, and I’m looking forward to going back again. For this trip, we wound up having a sushi set, a dish called pork okas, and a soup that my wife devoured and said was delicious. I forgot to ask her what it was and she’s asleep now! Just thinking about it is making me hungry again!
The above picture is the pork okas. It has strips of pork along with cabbage, onions, and maybe a few other things cooked into an egg omelette. It’s topped with four different sauces while it’s still on the grill, giving it a nice design that adds a visually pleasing aspect to the tasty dish.
Like I said, the place is great! We’re looking forward to our next trip.
One special consideration for anyone planning to go there is that the place is busy. Expect to wait for up to 15 to 20 minutes for your dish to be prepared, and, unless you’re lucky, another 5 to 10 minutes to get a drink. A good workaround for this is having one person hold the table for you and designating someone else to order and pick-up their food for them. That way you can leave your food at the table while making trips to get drinks, or other goodies, without having to worry about someone else helping themselves to what you’re going to pay for.