Menya Mappen, Town Hall

When I first read about Mappen, I wasn't interested in going. I like tempura, but I don't love it. And this place seemed to be solely focused on tempura.

Months later and it's a cold/rainy Friday night.  Mobblees, Rehactor and I were meeting up for dinner and Mobblees loudly proclaimed that she felt like noodles.  Well whatever Mobblees wants, Mobblees gets!

I suggested Mappen, a place that I vaguely knew was somewhere near the George St cinemas, where you could pick your own tempura buffet style.  We agreed to check it out and trudged down George St, easily lead to the right building by the smell of deep fried batter wafting out onto the street.

There was a long line inside winding between the tables where diners sat with their noodles.  A stern sign warns you to not mind seats until you have your food (which is valid enough since the seating is limited).  Yessir!

After about a ten minute wait, it was our turn to order.

Line of people at the counter

At the ordering counter, there was a one-woman show going on.  She took your order, dunked noodles into this big boiling contraption and then passed you the bowl of noodles for you to move along the line and choose your tempura.

Selection of tempura

I ordered the ontama udon, which had little soup but a nice egg on top.

Ontama udon (small bowl - $4.90)

From the tempura buffet, I chose the giant kakiage, which claimed to have chicken and prawns but I neither see nor taste either of these.  It was huge and I would recommend sharing this with someone rather than getting a whole one for yourself.  I also chose a prawn tempura and a chicken tempura.  The chicken tempura was delicious!  It reminded me of a KFC crispy strip, and gave me some much needed protein that was missing from my kakiage...

The tempura cost about $2 or so each, and the meal in total came to about $11 or $12.

Next time, I would get the udon with more soup and add an egg, and some chicken tempura.  Yum!

Oh and the best part of the meal - when we had paid and received our food, we turned around from the counters only to discover that there were no seats free!  Before we could even express our outrage at people blatantly disobeying the 'no seat before food' rule, a staff member went up to the people minding seats and made them get up so we could sit down with our food.  Hooray :-)  

And no, I felt no remorse at sitting down in their recently vacated spots to enjoy my udon.

Menya Mappen on Urbanspoon


We have been writing about food in Sydney since 2009. No place is too far or too wide for us to travel to visit. We always give an honest opinion and love to hear your comments too. Here's to an ever-growing society of foodies!


  1. dear retro - amongst the descending darkness brought on by KFC's recent canning of the "month of manwich" your post acts as a shining light to those of us in need - 2 tempura chickens and a slice of bacon please!

  2. Hi chocolatecol: Sorry to disappoint, but I didn't see any bacon at Mappen!

  3. I want more noodles! haha

  4. I went again last Thursday, I tried the chicken and it was perfect!
    They amended the kakiage description so it correctly identifies it as only being vegetables, no more trickery!

  5. We should've demanded tempura chicken for false their advertising.

  6. *their false lol

  7. Hi Rehactor: am pleased to hear you liked the chicken! I wonder if they changed the description as a result of customer complaints?

    Hi Mobblees: we were in no position to demand anything, we were lucky just to get a seat!