Alex Harmon ate at the cheap and cheerful end of Bondi this week...
A DIY noodle bar where you self-serve your fresh crispy tempura and toppings, sauces and water, it’s got the bustle of a traditional Tokyo style diner, but the with the warmth of Sydney hospitality. The servers giggle sheepishly as you peruse the menu, made up mostly of ramen, rice bowls and salads, with a couple of great Japanese beers (Orion and Sapporo).
Join up as a member of the Mappen chain and get a side of edamame, salad and sake for only $3 - an offer that is hard to refuse.
The teriyaki is on point, whether you go for the Teriyaki Salmon ($8.50) with rice, or...
...the lighter, fresher Teriyaki Chicken Salad ($7.90), they’re both delicious and at food-court style prices, you really feel like you're winning.
The Curry and Beef ($7.70) comes with udon noodles and tender stewed beef in the typically sweet Japanese curry sauce. It’s one of those tempting winter dishes, made all the more comforting when you couple it with a few throw-backs of the house sake. You can even throw in a hard-boiled egg for $1.20.
Found on Spring Street, Mappen Bondi Junction is no-frills style eating in a licensed restaurant; so cheap and fast, you’ll think you are abroad.
Mappen Bondi Junction
Shop 5, 183-193 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction
Ph: (02) 9388 0609