This week The Hubby and I were feeling like heading to one of our old favourites… Jipang, the Japanese noodle house located in the Henry Roth arcade. Their location in the arcade is a busy thruway, between the Corso and library, where you can sit, eat and watch Manly walk by. The staff lovingly wear an Australian flag bandana for headwear as part of their uniform, a small touch that distinguishes the eatery and makes me smile too. The Hubby & I were after a quick, cheap and satisfying meal which we knew Jipang would deliver. Plus, we rate their Gyoza – Japanese style dumplings (6pc) as some of the best in town… I’ve been known to just pop in and order a plate of gyoza simply to satisfy a craving…delicious!
Jipang is unofficially split into three different dining areas with a handful of tables inside the small eatery, seating at the bar overlooking the action in the kitchen and lastly seating outside in the arcade thruway. When we arrived, we were able to grab a table inside and immediately started pondering the menu. The gyoza’s were an automatic order but we also included The Hubby’s new staple the Agedashi Gyoza – deep fried dumplings in soy flavoured sauce. He use to always order the Agedashi Tofu but once the gyoza version was spotted, he hasn’t looked back. I finally decided on the Mixed Tempura Udon – prawn tempura (2pcs), kakiage tempura (1pc) & some vege tempura for a main and The Hubby went with a split order of the Jipang Chahan – fried rice & a bowl of clear soup and Karaage Chicken – marinated deep fried chicken. It was an unusual order for The Hubby, and I was initially concerned that he did not order enough food which would put my noodles in jeopardy… sharing was not part of the plan tonight for the mains.. ha ha.
The Agedashi gyoza and gyoza entrees came out within minutes of each other. I tucked into the gyoza first, of course… I was in heaven although I had to pace myself or my favourite morsels of deliciousness would be gone to quickly! I am sure I could enter a gyoza eating contest and still never get tired of them!! With the agedashi gyoza, we always order them without the mayo, as we find it a little overpowering and dilutes the soy flavoured sauce to much for our liking. Actually, The Hubby can’t get enough of the sauce that the dumplings sit in and is actively trying to recreate it at home. I look forward to when he masters it…that will be a good day!
When our mains arrived, my initial doubt that The Hubby did not order enough food was put to rest. The fried rice was a huge plate and not a tightly packed ball as pictured on the menu. The karaage worked perfectly with the rice too, he was quite pleased with his order…my noodles were safe! The Hubby noted that they used little bits of beef in the fried rice providing a balance of salt and texture which he loved. I think I might be seeing some little bits of beef in his homemade fried rice from now on… great tip Jipang, love it! I was extremely happy with my order too, a good japanese noodle soup in winter easily warms my soul and this one hit the spot indeed. The tempura batter covered the prawns and veggies completely giving a delicious crunch and texture too. Don’t you just wish tempura has a healthy option??…oh well!
We do love Jipang, it is in a central location in Manly and works for many types of dining occasions. You can easily dine alone by sitting at the bar or gather with a group of friends in the arcade section or just cosy up with someone special and your your own bottle of wine to compliment the food. Plus, those with four legged friends have the accessibility to sit in the arcade section and dine too. It is a noodle house for the locals and once you take notice, stop and eat here, you have un-officially earned your local badge.