Every trip is about food, in fact when I plan for a trip, food is one major consideration, will I find food I like and what is the ‘must-try’ food in that place.
In Osaka, I found the best Udon in the world (pardon my exaggeration). This shop along Shinsaibashii Street, serves Udon noodles directly from the boiler (without cooking process), all I need is to dip the noodles into the sauce and enjoy.
The Udon noodles are placed in these large nets and into the boiler. No cooking process means the noodles are taken out of the boiler directly and placed in a bamboo bowl to be served, when normally the Chef will soak the noodles in another pot of cold water then transfer to another hot cooking pot before serving to customers in a ceramic bowl.
Try both types if you are traveling with a partner or friend, then you can taste the difference, but if you are like me, traveling alone, then try the boiler type, cos you can get the normal Udon cooking in almost everywhere else.
Look at the queue in the shop, and mind you, the queue didn’t stop for the 30-40mins I was there.
Mix and match the Udon with different Tempura available on the side. I ordered a large bowl of Udon and 4 Tempura sides, costs me 840yen.
If you are traveling to Minoo Park which is 30mins ride away from central Osaka, then you have to try the special fried autumn leaves, only available in this place. Buy a packet and take the walk into the nature and be captivated by the beauty of the autumn scenery.
The autumn leaves tastes sweet because I believe in the flour was added some honey. Definitely for those with a sweet tooth. Recommended to eat it while it’s hot.
Along the way into the hills, you will pass by a shop that sells Oden. It is a Japanese winter dish consisting of several main ingredients such as boiled eggs, beef, potato, radish, beancurd, etc.
Who wouldn’t like such a dish when the weather is cold. Just try it, about 700yen.
Back in Osaka, probably the most famous food everyone will talk about and try, has to be the Takoyaki. Be prepared to queue, maybe for 10mins or so.
There are a lot of roadside stalls selling the yummy Takoyaki along Dotonbori. You won’t miss it.
Inside Dotonbori is a hidden gem that is sometimes shown on the tourist maps and sometimes not. It’s a secretive alley, dark and forgotten (again I am exaggerating), but the truth is not many tourist will find it cos it’s just not easy. I walked the entire place for the first night in Dotonbori and still cannot find it. I nearly gave up until I went back again the next night and my hard work paid off.
Hozenji Yokocho Alley. It is an alley from the Edo era (1603-1868), a narrow street 80m long, 2.7m wide. It has now become a famous street with traditional restaurants set in the Edo era.
Directions as follows, “walk towards Glico signboard, turn right into the lane with Starbucks shop, walk straight till you see on the right a street name 千日前, walk in about 30m on the right”.
Here, I had the best Yakitori meal ever.
I spent almost 3000yen here alone. Lots of skewer food and beer!
Next up it’s some seafood and fantastic sashimi!
Near to Dotonbori, walking for about 15mins, you can get to Kuromon Market.
Remember to try the mega escargot, steamed on bamboo sheets. Delicious!
Hopped to the most talked about shop in Kuromon Market, here you can find lots of fresh sashimi and seafood for a very affordable price.
The uniqueness of the shop is buying the food pre-packed and then find a seat to enjoy it immediately. If you purchase a slab of sashimi, the kitchen staff will slice it for you too.
This set is about 1900yen.
If Kuromon doesn’t satisfy your cravings for good sushi, you are like me. Go to the Osaka Fish Market and dine at Endo Sushi. Managed by now the 4th generation family, this sushi shop serves nothing but the best.
You can order the sushi you want, but almost every customer order the ‘maze’ or ‘omakase’ sushi, or english terms, ‘the chef’s choice’. Each serving of the ‘maze’ sushi consists of 5 different pieces of sushi and definitely 1 piece will be a toro sushi.
There are 4 different sets to try, and since I have come a long way for this, I had to order all 4!
Anago (sea water eel), Uni (sea urchin), Tai (sea brean), Toro (fatty tuna), Hamachi (yellow tail), Tako (octopus), Sake (salmon), Ikura (salmon roe), Ika (calamari), Sayori (halfbeak), Hotate (scallop).
Don’t just indulge in the sushi, try the equally nice clam miso soup.
If you would like to have wasabi, indicate to the waitress when ordering, they will add in into the sushi when preparing. They do not serve raw wasabi on the side. But they do have the shoyu (soy sauce) and pickled ginger as shown above. Take note on how to apply the shoyu. You are suppose to brush the shoyu on top of the sushi once and eat it. Trust me, just one brush would be enough. The freshness of the sushi will demand no other things for enhancement.
Needless to say, this was my most expensive meal on the trip, about 6000yen. Every single cent was worth it.
Along Tenjimbashisuji Shopping Street, I found a small restaurant that sells Kobe beef. Of course, you can travel to Kobe for the most authentic one, but if you are just staying in Osaka like me, I think this is close enough for the experience.
I ordered the full set with Kobe patty and also Kobe steak. Only regret, portion is too small, for 2190yen.
Last but not least, if you have a chance to travel to Nara (one hour’s train ride from Osaka), the one thing I would recommend is this shop. Check out the crowd in front of the shop and you can be sure it is something nice.
What is the craze all about? It’s for this little green Japanese Mochi. Rice flour tinted green with yomogi (mugwort) and covered in kinako (soy bean powder).
One for 130yen, my suggestion, but at least two, you will regret after tasting one and need to queue again.
I hope you have enjoyed this post on the food I have tasted in Osaka, as much as I have enjoyed re-living the memories of the good food I had. More to come on Osaka in the coming days! Come back again.
All my photos are taken with Canon 5D Mark III, courtesy of Canon Singapore to loan me the set for this trip.