Occasionally, friends and acquaintances will ask me where to get a quick and cheap Japanese meal in Sunnybank. Without a second thought, my answer is always Mappen Menya, which is situated on the outside of Sunnybank Plaza. Where else can you get a bowl of Udon in soup for $3.90?
The most striking thing about Mappen Menya is that despite being an indoors restaurant, it is designed to look like the outdoor night markets of Japan.
Upon entering the store, the first thing is to order the base dish (being noodles or rice), then pick from an assortment of fried things and other side dishes, before paying and finding a seat. Self serve water is also offered on the side.
This is the Curry Bowl and Mini Udon. I was pleasantly surprised at the generous size of the mini udon. Indeed, my friend who ordered this found the meal filling enough without getting any of the other sides.
This is the beef bowl with a side of tempura sausage, tempura fish cake, and tempura prawn. It's a very solid comfort food, and very filling for the price.
What I usually order, is the Kake Udon, with a side of Karage Chicken, Tempura Prawn and Takoyaki. In this instance, I also ordered a side of seaweed salad. What I enjoy about Mappen is that they are really good with their consistency, every time I go there, I am assured that I'll get the same great meal. The noodles are served in a clear light soup, which is a good balance to the heaviness of the fried foods. The Udon is also of high quality (i.e. no sour aftertaste).
Whilst I wouldn't go to Mappen every day, simply because I'd get bored of constantly eating fried foods, I do go here often and enjoy it very much.
Average Price: $5 - 10
Taste: 8/10 - Would be higher, but needs more variety of sides
Service: 6/10 - Servers are very friendly, but most of the facilities are on a self serve basis.