Good Local Eats: Kumi’s Lunch

Thu, Nov 8, 2018

Smack dab in the middle of Matsumoto’s best sightseeing is a great place to rest your feet and enjoy the unexpected. Kumi’s Lunch, aka ManMa, is a cool, casual, eclectic café run by Kumi Katayose, food artisan extraordinaire.

Kumi used to make lunch for her friends – groups of fifteen or twenty at a time, just for fun. “You should open your own restaurant,” they all said.

And so she did.

Though the menu is all in Japanese, ordering is a cinch – because everyone gets the same thing! That’s right. Each day Kumi comes up with a new and different lunch course that includes an entrée, a couple of small side dishes, soup, rice and tea. All you have to do is walk in, say ‘Konnichi wa,’ and have a seat. Kumi will take it from there.

The rice Kumi dishes up is not your standard white variety. What special recipe she uses depends on the day, but you can be sure it will be good. And she’ll be happy to serve you seconds, of both rice and soup. To top it off, she does it all for 750 yen per person! (This means that, if you still want dessert after all that, you’ll have a few yen left over for the patisserie right next door.)

ManMa is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday, from 11:30 to 2:00pm. Make that around 2:00pm – Kumi won’t run you out the door while you’re still eating! Do be aware, though, that Kumi’s Lunch is limited. So get there early so you don’t miss out!

Enjoy your meal – and say hi to Kumi for me!