I headed up to Hiroshima today with my good friend Kelly and her friend Andrea (hope I spelled her name right). Since Kelly is leaving in a couple of weeks (boooooo!!), she got to pick our lunch spot. She said right away, "Manao!". I have never been to Manao so I was happy to go. I love trying new places! Then she said it was Thai food. GOOD Thai food. Hmmm...even better.
We made our way to the restaurant (after a little pit stop at Zara) and the place was pretty busy. We got one of the last open tables. I have to tell you right off the bat that the menu is in Japanese AND English. I took a picture of part of the menu.
After looking over the menu, I decided I had to have a fruit shake (highly recommended by Kelly!). The problem was trying to decide what flavor I wanted. Mango sounded yummy! But so did the watermelon, and the pineapple....I could go on and on. I finally decided to go with the watermelon. Kelly chose the mango. Unfortunately, they were out of mango (it's very popular) so Kelly went with coconut. Now we had to decide on what to eat. They offer lunch sets for 900yen. Kelly and Andrea decided to go with a lunch set. Kelly got the chicken green curry, and Andrea got the kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) curry. Ohhhh! I wanted to try to kabocha curry! I LOVE Japanese pumpkin! I asked our server if it was really spicy and she said yes so I had to pass. I decided on this pork/basil/rice with fried egg on top dish. I love anything with basil in it. Kelly also ordered some fresh spring rolls for us to munch on while we waited for our food.
Because Kelly and Andrea ordered lunch sets, they each got a salad.
Then they brought out the fresh spring rolls.
While we were oohing and ahhing over the fresh spring rolls, they brought our fruit shakes over.
At this point, I'm pretty happy with this place that Kelly brought me to. Apparently a lot of people feel the same way she does about Manao because I realize there are people waiting for a table now. Quite a few people.
They start to bring our meals over.
Kelly has had the green curry before and she says it's her favorite. She tasted the kabocha curry though and I think she is going to change her favorite (sorry green curry!). Andrea said it was awesome. I wish I could tell you what the spice levels were like, but they both said they didn't think it was too spicy. This is coming from two ladies who usually get level 6 or 7 at Ganesh. I'm a level 1. If you like spicy, you'll be just fine. If you don't like spicy (like me), then there are some options for you. My lunch was really good. Great flavors, and they give you a lot. Maybe I was full from the fresh spring rolls and the yummy watermelon shake, but I couldn't eat all of my food.
The prices are not bad (just don't think about the crappy exchange rate!). My lunch was about 1,500yen. That included my watermelon shake. The atmosphere is nice and the staff is very friendly and helpful. I will definitely be going back to check out their dinner menu!!
Here is my attempt at giving some decent directions. I should have put a disclaimer on my blog because sometimes I am not the best direction giver.
If you know the covered shopping arcade, we're okay. The best directions I can give would be -
If you are at the big Starbucks that is across from Parco's, keep walking down the covered arcade past Starbuck's and away from Parco. You'll pass a Claire's on your right. Keep going. Or you can stop in Claire's and do a little shopping. At the very first side street you come to on you right, turn right. There's a little convenience store there. Walk a little (like a minute) and you'll come to a tiny little intersection. Manao's is on the corner on your right. You have to go upstairs. You should see these pictures and this sign at the bottom of the steps -
There are a couple of places I have to stop at when I go to Hiroshima. One is Starbucks, and the other is a place called Choco Cro. Kelly turned me on to Choco Cro too. They are amazing little croissants with chocolate inside.
Feel free to post some of your favorite spots in Hiroshima. I would love to get ideas for other restaurants to try. And the next time you're in Hiroshima and you are in the mood for great Thai food, head over to Manao's. I am pretty sure you'll be happy you did.