Location: 288 East Pender St Vancouver, BC
The last time I was in Japan was in 2012 and during my stay, I experienced the best katsudon ever at a chain called Hotto Motto. Manpuku’s standing dine in bar and their push for take out reminds me of Hotto Motto but how was the Katsudon?
I was at first worried that by the time I got home, this crunchy pork cutlet would be soggy from the sauce. To my surprise, there were still plenty of crunchy bits to my cutlet. The pork itself was very tender and not over cooked despite the golden brown crust. The egg that was cooked on top absorbed a lot of the sauce which made the egg extra savoury. The key to a perfect katsudon also involves onions and it seems to me, Manpuku puts a lot of emphasis on how they sauté their onions. It’s packed with flavour and definitely one of the highlights within the dish.
Manpuku also offers a variety of bento boxes along side their donburi bowls. My friend Tarek who lives in the area recommends the beef curry with katsu cutlet in their special sauce.
Manpuku looks like a start to something really special and I’m excited to see it grow.
P.s. it’s so good I’ve been back a second time. This is definitely the hottest lunch spot in Chinatown right now. We waited about 20 minutes to get our food and the line started to form after us. Their house soup is really special and you definitely need to try it.
Rating 4/5 (no seating inside)