Manpuku Japanese Gourmet Town @ Tampines 1

Entrance
Entrance

Overrated, overpriced, poor quality and bad service.

That sums up my first visit to the much-hyped Manpuku Japanese Gourmet Town at Tampines 1.

I did a quick search online for other reviews written about the place; apparently, most others felt the same way too.

Rachel and I went there on a Saturday night and the restaurant was very crowded. We were given a queue number and had to wait around 15 minutes to get in.

Presentation-wise, the decor wasn’t bad and the plastic model displays of the food on offer at the various stalls do look mouth-watering.

Visually arresting food display outside the restaurant
Visually arresting food display outside the restaurant
Plastic sakura flowers decor
Plastic sakura flowers decor
The sushi/sashimi chef
The sushi/sashimi chef
Large variety of sushi
Large variety of sushi
Fresh fish
Fresh fish
Other kind of raw seafood
Other kind of raw seafood
Takeaway sushi
Takeaway sushi
Drink stall
Drink stall
Yoshimis Hokkaido Soup Curry
Yoshimi's Hokkaido Soup Curry
Aobas Hokkaido Asahikawa Ramen
Aoba's Hokkaido Asahikawa Ramen
Botejyu Osaka Okonomiyaki
Botejyu Osaka Okonomiyaki
The okonomiyaki display
The okonomiyaki display
Toku Tokus Udon and Soba
Toku Toku's Udon and Soba
Patrons waiting for their udons
Patrons waiting for their udons
Udon and soba
Udon and soba display
Sesson Japanese Grill
Sesson Japanese Grill
Prawn snacks - look very nice, but I didnt try
Prawn snacks - look very nice, but I didn't try
Fruit Paradise which serves tarts and cakes
Fruit Paradise which serves tarts and cakes
Blueberry tart
Blueberry tart

We ordered a Hokkaido soup curry; an omurice with tofu patty and a slice of orange and grapefruit tart for desert.

Rachels Hokkaido vegetable soup curry
Rachel's Hokkaido vegetable soup curry
My omurice with tofu patty
My omurice with tofu patty
Our orange and grapefruit tart
Our orange and grapefruit tart

The curry tasted awful. It was nowhere near the wonderful soup curry we savoured when we were in Hokkaido early this year. In fact, it tasted like the soup of those curry flavour instant noodle you can buy at the local supermarket.

The omurice was very bland. Tasted kind of like rice smothered with tomato ketchup. The tofu patty was dry and hard, can’t taste the tofu at all.

The only saving grace was the fruit tart which tasted reasonably good. However, it’s quite overpriced at S$7.80 a slice. But the food court wasn’t too hygienic too as there were fruit flies constantly hovering over our cake.

The can of Pokka carrot juice that we ordered cost S$2.90. It costs $1.30 at coffee shops.

With regards to the service, as they adopted a cash card system like Marché, it was essentially self-service for everything. Fair enough. However, I have some issues with the fact that the largely Chinese national staff do not seem to understand English at all.When I asked for “a bowl of rice”, I was greeted with a blank “Huh?” look.

Manpuku cash card
Manpuku cash card

My feel is that this place is probably just enjoying good business now because of it’s novelty. Once that dies down, it is likely to close down unless the food quality improve.

Singaporeans are very picky eaters and new eateries probably get at most, one or two chances to prove themselves. My first visit sucks. I am not likely to go back there again in the near future. If I go back for a second visit and it still sucks, then it will be on my list of banned restaurants.

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