Street food is one of my biggest loves. It’s the perfect opportunity to discover meals you might never have tried unless you happened to wander into a market or took a wrong turn down some dodgy back alley. Manchester is a mecca of street food, and the best place to find delicious portions on a regular basis is to visit the food market in the Manchester Arndale Centre.
On a recent visit I came across Intoku, a Japanese food stall that piqued my curiosity. Within minutes, my curiosity developed into a full stomach that left me feeling wholly satisfied. Intoku is a place where big things are happening in the kitchen.
Intoku’s menu features classic Japanese dishes like spicy chicken karaage, gyudon, tofu curry and yakitori chicken. Portions range from £6 – £7, making them ideal for diners who are looking for great food at a reasonable price.
I opted for a medium-sized box of katsudon, which featured generous helpings of rice stacked with a fried egg and chicken. I was blown away by the sweet, tender taste of the chicken strips. It mixed beautifully with the runniness of the egg. I mashed it up with the rice and unlocked an eruption of flavour. At £6, there’s enough food inside an Intoku katsudon box to satisfy two people.
Diners can also help themselves to a selection of light bites, such as vegetable gyoza, chill squid and takoyaki octopus balls. Prices range from 75p per ball, to an extra add on of £1.50. Either way, the menu strikes the right balance between affordability and taste.
The best street food vendors are passionate about what they do. While I was debating on what to eat, I struck up a conversation with a helpful server called Greg. He offered me a free yuzu mint drink to quench my thirst. He struck me as the kind of person who was happy to chat to anyone and seemed genuinely excited about being able to serve up some brilliant food.
People in need of a speedy lunch will be happy to know Intoku are quick on service. My katsudon came out quickly, but I got the feeling that it wasn’t rushed. It’s the the ideal street food dining experience: fast, considerate and damn tasty.
Manchester natives and tourists should definitely pay a visit to Intoku. You’ll be rewarded with some of the finest Japanese street food in the city. To learn more about the menu, check Intoku out on Facebook.
Address: Manchester Arndale, Manchester M4 3AD