After the success of finding something great with Tabelog, we decided to find something good to eat after arriving into Osaka and checking into Intercontinental Osaka. Unfortunately, the restaurant we wanted to try was fully booked so after being annoyed for a while, and given that good food was always abound, we walked around the corner and found Man-Talku or Mantoku.
To be honest, at first, we didn’t know what to expect apart from the fact that it was a typical beer house where people have small dishes to go with their beer. The place I suspect was run by a couple and the lady did not speak a word of English and neither was there an English menu – which in my mind is great!
After I assessed the menu for a while through the magic of Google Translate – I kind of knew what I wanted in terms of meat dishes – then Ms. Buddha and I also used Translate to ask what the owner would recommend – along with “Beeru” which is beer in Japanese.
The first couple of dishes that came was a Tofu dish and a chicken thigh. The tofu had a dash of shallots along with a good dose of Bonito flakes – adding a great depth of flavour to the smooth tofu.
The chicken was excellent and it is actually their specialty that the chicken is cooked in a dark charcoal colour. The great thing about this dish is the way the pieces were cut such at it had a good mixture of flesh and fat.
The next dish was a Ms. Buddha selection and I’m glad she picked this, to the naked eye, it was just regular tomato – but it must’ve been in season or that they were excellently grown tomatoes, because these were sweet! And the texture was firm so you can feel the freshness!
On the owners recommendations, we also went with sushi (because I like a bit of rice) – and it was a split of beef and fish – I had the beef which was cooked only on the edge and tasted great; Ms. Buddha loved the fish!
Time for more rice! Because I am someone who just can have plain rice as long as it’s good quality rice – I ordered a rice ball with pickled roe – the roe had a fermented sake like taste which went excellent with the rice – I would’ve had another if my stomach had the room.
The last dish was another dish that was signature to Mantoku (they specialise in chicken) – and it was soft chicken bone. I initially thought it’d be fried but it ended up being grilled (my translation mistake); none-the-less, soft chicken bone is always a great dish because the texture is aways interesting and the flavour comes from the small pieces of flesh still attached.
ManToku was not a place we intended to go to, but as always in Japan, very local shops seems to always end up being really good purely because of the high standards that the locals have for food in general – another place worth returning to!