Osaka

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Osaka is a city for great eats and should be on your radar if you love Japanese food. I have family in Osaka and have always enjoyed visiting, but have forgotten how good the food is here since I have been spending more time in Kyoto. Now I am kicking myself. Osaka is easily accessible from Kyoto and worth spending at minimum a day to try some of the signature dishes it is known for.

Takoyaki are bite-size savory balls with octopus. Covered with a sweet sauce, katsuobushi flakes, and aonori it is a great snack. Tako = octopus; yaki = grilled.

Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake with toppings like pork and seafood. It is also topped with a sweet sauce, mayonnaise, katsuobushi flakes, and aonori. It is usually made in front of the diner on a hot teppan, iron grill.

Mizuno 美津の is a Michelin Bib Gourmand shop in the popular Dotonbori district.

https://tabelog.com/en/osaka/A2701/A270202/27001278/

Mizuno’s original okonomiyaki is called Mizuno-yaki and is made with pork, squid, shrimp, scallops, octopus, and oysters in the winter season. We were also craving some noodles and got the modern-yaki which is an okonomiyaki with yakisoba noodles.

The shop is very popular so expect lines.

http://www.mizuno-osaka.com/menu.html#sec5

大阪府 大阪市中央区 道頓堀 1-4-15

Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Chuo-ku, Dotonbori 1-4-15

osaka-udon-bou

Udon is soul food for Osakans. We fell into Bou while exploring the maze of restaurants in the buildings in front of Osaka station in Umeda. A small counter with a few side tables. There were some bottles of sake in the fridge, including Kawatsuru from Kagawa prefecture. Kagawa in Shikoku is also known for udon and it was a good match.

The recommended dish is tempura chikuwa (roasted fish cake) bukkake udon with an onsen tamago. Bukkake udon are cold noodles with a very little amount of sauce. A delicious bowl and a nice finish to the day after trying so many dishes.

The restaurant was filled with regulars, many office workers from the building.

Udon Bou Osaka Honten

Osaka-fu, Osaka-shi, Kita-Umeda 1-1-3, B200 Osaka Eki Mae Bldg. Dai-3, B2F37-2

うどん棒 大阪本店
大阪市北区梅田1-1-3B200大阪駅前
第3ビルB2F37-2

http://www.udonbo.co.jp/

I’ve been to Osaka over a dozen times and had never tried Osaka-style kushi katsu. Kushi katsu are small bites that are skewered, breaded and deep-fried. The Osaka twist on the dish is that on the table is a container with a thin sauce that the kushi katsu is dipped into. Signs everywhere remind diners to dip only once, no double dipping. 🙂

OMG, this was so good and I can’t believe it was my first time to experience this, 28 years after my first visit. The shop is casual and loads of fun for kids. Like kaitenzushi shops, a toy shinkansen brings the hot items to your tableside. Vegetarians will like it here as there are many vegetables on the menu. We loved it all, seafood, meat, vegetables, and cheese.

Best of all, this shop is at Shin-Osaka station where the shinkansen arrives. I will be back!

Kushi Katsu Daruma

http://www.kushikatu-daruma.com/

There are branches throughout the city.

Be sure to put Osaka on your radar. If you are spending any time in Kyoto, see if you can add a day and extend your travels to include Osaka.

 

Michelin Guide Kansai 2014

The Michelin Guide Kansai 2014 has given two more restaurants the prestigious three stars ranking in its most recent edition. From the press release, Michael ELLIS, International Director of the MICHELIN guides comments, “We are very pleased to award two new three stars restaurants, Mizai and Kichisen, both located in Kyoto. They serve Japanese cuisine cooked at a remarkably high level. We are also delighted to introduce a Bib Gourmand selection in the Kansai region for the first time. This distinction is really appreciated by our readers”.

“A Bib Gourmand is a separate award from a star and indicates a value-for-money restaurant, offering a menu or a single plate (depending on the restaurant’s style) for under 5,000 yen. The name is a shortened version of ‘Bibendum’ (the Michelin Man), along with ‘gourmand’ which means ‘one who enjoys eating. ”

Upon quick glance at the Bib Gourmand for Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe, I believe that non of the recipients are Japanese restaurants but are all French and Italian.

Michelin has partnered with Gurunavi and the information is now available online for free. Here is the updated list of Kyoto three star restaurants:

http://gm.gnavi.co.jp/restaurant/list/kyoto/all_area/all_small_area/all_food/3star/

Surf the Gurunavi site for updates in Kansai including Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, and Nara.

http://gm.gnavi.co.jp/