Friday, August 21, 2009

Man Puku: a Delightful Hidden Gem

This hidden small place intrigued us when we first went pass it one night. Located at Jl. Mahakam, next to Pisa Cafe and on top of a Padang restaurant, it doesn't seem to inviting at all. So we carefully went up with hopes of finding a hidden treasure, sort of.

Upon entering it, we were greeted by the few staffs and uhm, hot air with a rather strong smell of fried food. We were then led to a table at the end of the small space. There were only us and 2 other people dining in that night.

The food here is of course, Japanese, but they also have a few Korean selections too. We ordered bee bim bab, buta bara, and their speciality fried robata set which consisted of around 12 skewers of deep fried fish, chicken, squid, beef, bacon, and vegetable for main course.

For appetizer, we ordered cold cut tomato salad, which my friend happily devoured by himself while I stuck to the complimentary appetizer of raw cabbage leaves with special miso paste to flavor (I finished one and a half plateful of this 'salad'). Oh, I also ordered a bowl of steaming wakame soup which was really good.

Clockwise (L-R): raw cabbage & miso paste (appetizer), buta bara, 
bee bim bab, fried robata set

The fried robata came with a huge rectangular metal bowl on the side for us to dip the skewers in, and a small plate of toasted sesame to coat them in. While munching on the fatty, sinful, but delicious skewers, we couldn't help but wonder why they put the sauce in such big container -- it's going to be a waste. When we inquired this to one of the waitress, she said that they used to use smaller container but got complaints from many (Japanese) guests because they said they couldn't dip the whole thing in with the small container. Well, understandable, but still a total waste.

The bee bim bab was good. Though the rice was a bit overcooked for me, my friend loved it still. The buta bara was a bit on the average side. We washed all the food (and fat) down with a chilled bottle of sake. After the big dinner, we were given complimentary desserts of green melon pudding.

When we were leaving, we decided to give the restroom a visit. On the way there, we noticed that the place's actually quite big. Just next to the small room where we dined in, there's a bigger room/section -very nicely designed in red and black hues with cool modern lighting. And the air's cooler too, compared to the smaller room. They probably closed the section down because it wasn't too busy that night.

All in all, I'd say this restaurant's quite a find. Would love to come back next time if I have the chance.

Man Puku

Japanese Dining
Jl. Mahakam 1 No. 11B, 2nd fl.
P +62 21 7221690
F +62 21 7221691

* Originally posted in Multiply, September 14, 2008. Sadly, I've never had the chance to set foot inthis place again ever since. And last I checked, I think the place is closed down already. Too bad...

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