Tag Archives: Asia – Japan

Okonomiyaki – Osaka, Japan

Even though I had okonomiyaki at Mizuno, I have yet to fully satisfy my okonomiyaki craving.  There’s this stand that sells okonomiyaki for only 130 yen next to our hotel!

mass production of okonomiyakis….

pretty decent for the price… batter was crispy outside and soft inside.. but too much sauce!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Okonomiyaki stand next to Fraser Residences

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Sushi Endo ゑんどう寿司 – Osaka, Japan

While researching on the best places for sushi in Osaka, I came across Sushi Endo. It’s located at the Osaka Central Wholesale Fish Market (which in a way guarantees the freshness of the fish) and is actually a bit out of the way (compared to Kuromon Ichiba Market 黒門市場 in Namba). We took the train to the closest stop and had to walk 15 minutes from the station to the Market.  At this point, I have already pulled my Achilles tendon and was limping.  Oh the distance I’m willing to go for food!

The entrance of the market… from there, it took a while to find it…

We were completely drenched from the rain by the time we found it! It’s located at the restaurant area on the left of the market.

The history of Endo Sushi goes way back more than a century to 1907!

miso soup with clams….. very strong miso taste (unlike the watery one at Hitoe in Vancouver) and lots of mini clams!

At Endo’s, the way to eat sushi is very traditional. Unlike our usual way of dipping the sushi into the soy sauce, here, you brush a thin layer of soy sauce on top of the sushi’s sashimi.

Endo offers 4 omakase sets (each at 1050 yen for 5 pieces)… I, of course, tried it all!

Set 1:  Anago (sea water eel), uni (sea urchin), tai (sea bream), toro (fatty tuna), hamachi (yellowtail)…. this is the BEST!!!!! Thick slices of fresh sashimi! The uni was so buttery and didn’t have any fishy nor sea-salt taste.  The toro MELTED IN MY MOUTH.  It was THAT GOOD.  Even better than the toro I had 4 months later at Sushi Dai @ Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market.   You can see the marbled fat texture of the toro!

Set 2  hamo (sharp-toothed eel)akagai (ark shell), hotate (scallop), toro (fatty tuna), grilled duck????? Never had grilled duck nigri sushi.. but it’s pretty good.

Set 3 Tamago (omelette), ebi (shrimp), awabi (abalone), tekka (tuna roll), tako (octopus)….. The abalone was huge.. but it really tastes better cooked Chinese style.

Set 4 Sake (salmon), ikura (salmon roe), ika (calamari), toro (fatty tuna), sayori (halfbeak).….

more!  Dad only had 2 sets, Mom had 3 sets and and the above ikura and uni.. but I had 4 sets and an extra piece of toro nigri!  I was seriously in a food coma after this.. and this was just my breakfast!

Probably the best sushi experience ever! The toro was out of this world!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Sushi Endo ゑんどう寿司

at Osaka Central Wholesale Fish Market

大阪市福島区野田1-1-8 (1-1-86 Noda Fukushima-ku, Osaka)

AM5:00~PM2:00 (日曜、祝日休み)(Closed on Sundays and Holidays)

Tel: 06-6469-7108

Takoyaki in Osaka, Japan

One of the most popular (and my favourite) Japanese street food is takoyaki, grilled octopus balls, and it originates from Osaka.  Takoyaki stands are everywhere and there’s even a takoyaki museum!  I tried 2 of the most famous takoyaki stands and it was amazing!

Honkeohtako (本家日本一大たこ)

I found this stand by accident… While we were waiting for Mizuno, I walked around to look for takoyaki and saw this huge lineup on the main Dotonbori street..

some tv food show was filming there too…

This picture shows how takoyaki is made.  Boiled octopus chunks are placed into each hole of the takoyaki grill.   Bambo skeweers are used to push the gradually drying batter towards the centres of the holes and then flipped to ensure even grilling….

The takoyaki is then topped with a tangy sauce and a lot of bonito flakes..

look at the HUGE octopus… seriously… all other takoyaki octopus pales in comparison.. it’s a big piece of soft, chewy and fresh octopus.  The takoyaki skin is a bit crispy and the inside batter is soft and chewy.  The BEST TAKOYAKI EVER! So good I had it again before my flight!

 

Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka (たこ焼き道楽 わなか)

One of the Chowhound recommendations  for best takoyaki in Osaka is Doraku Wanaka.

no lineup and apparently no pictures….. I got told off after taking this….

the takoyaki is better than the ones outside of Japan but it wasn’t as good as Honkeohtako because the octopus wasn’t as big…

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Honkeohtako (本家日本一大たこ)

Osaka-shi Chuo-Ku Dotonbori 1-5-10

Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka (たこ焼き道楽 わなか)

next to Nabma Kagetsu theater in between Doguya-suji and Sennichimae arcades

Ichiran 一蘭 – Osaka, Japan

Even though we had Ippudo for lunch, we had ramen again for dinner.. this time, at Ichiran.  Ichiran is famous for it’s unique style of dining… individual private cubby so you can enjoy the ramen alone!

The lineup was insane!   45 minute wait outside.. and then another 15 min lineup inside.

The ticket machine….thank goodness it has pictures!

After buying the tickets, we consulted the panel to see where there are empty seats.  There’s a total of 20 seats… all in a line.   It took a while to get 3 adjacent seats.

The unique seating arrangement… I seriously think this is to prevent people from talking.. so they can finish eating and then leave…

My solitude dining… well, the front panel can swing back so you can partly see your neighbour……. it even has a water dispenser in each cubby!

Tonkotsu Hakata-style ramen made with pork broth… the soup base was flavourful and not too oily… the noodles were on the softer side… while the pork had the right amount of fat…

About half a year later, Ichiran opened in Hong Kong and the lineups were even more crazy… 3-4 hours!!!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!

Ichiran 一蘭

various locations but we went to the Dotonbori branch

一蘭道頓堀店 Japan, 〒542-0084 大阪府大阪市中央区宗右衛門町7−18

+81 6-6212-1805

Kinryu Ramen 金龍ラーメン – Osaka, Japan

I was stuffed from my sushi breakfast at Sushi Endo.. but I still wanted to have a last bowl of ramen before going to the airport.  Another famous ramen in Dotonbori is, Kinryu.  The name is literally golden dragon; hence, the iconic dragon decoration.

At night time, there’s always a huge lineup.. but since we went in the afternoon, we got a table right away!

there’s only 2 selections.. ramen with pork or ramen with extra pork…

you hand your ticket to the counter and when ready, you pick up your ramen… this is the first self-service ramen place I’ve been too!

this ramen has more Chinese influence then the other ramens… probably because this version has scallions….. still, really good and the cheapest ramen I had in Japan (only 600+ yen!)

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Kinryu Ramen 金龍ラーメン

Address: 1-7-26 Namba, Chuo-Ku, OSAKA (大阪府大阪市中央区道頓堀1-7-26)
Phone: +81-6-6211-6202

opened 7 days a week, 24 hours

Ippudo 一風堂 – Osaka, Japan

I took part in the Hong Kong Ippudo craze when it first opened.. lining up for an hour for ramen.  Now, a year and a half later, the craziness and lines have disappeared.

Ippudo’s is one of my top picks for ramen (and Butao) so I had to try it in Japan!

Who would have thought we’d be lining up for Ippudo in Japan?!

We ordered the Shoyu, Miso and Yuzu miso spicy ramen…..

Good to know that HK’s Ippudo taste the same as in Osaka!

gyoza… crisp dumpling skin and juicy meat filling…

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Ippudo 一風堂

various locations, but went to the one in Umeda

角田ビル1F
6−7 Kakudacho, OsakaKita Ward
+81 6-6363-3777

Mizuno お好み焼 美津の – Osaka, Japan

From Nara, we finally made it to Osaka and it’s completely different than Kyoto.  Where Kyoto is relatively slow-paced and an ode to the the past, Osaka is bursting with energy and bright neon signs.

Near the famous “Glico Running Man” in the Dotonburi area, is one of the most famous and best okonomiyaki restaurant: Mizuno.   Mizuno has been serving okonomiyaki for 65 years! Even though its located right in the middle of Dotonburi, it’s still really hard to find. Luckily, we got help from really friendly locals who googled Mizuno’s number, called for the address, and took us there.  So nice!

The lineup was crazy! We waited an hour.. and had takoyaki while waiting!

Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake that contains a variety of ingredients. We didn’t know what to order and just asked for the 3 most popular.

scallop and pork

pork and squid..

pork and spring onion..

we saw our neighbours order the noodles and it looked really good. so we ordered it too!

Loved the okonomiyaki!  fluffy, flavourful, lots of fillings and cooked just right!

FAIM? OUI OUI!!!

Mizuno / Miduno (お好み焼 美津の)
1-4-15 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka 542-0071
大阪府大阪市中央区道頓堀1丁目4−15