Japan: Osaka

October 31, 2013 · 7 comments

in japan, out of town dining

Osaka

This is my first Japan post solely focused on a city. Osaka deserves its own post, because, to put it eloquently, Osaka is the shit. It’s a big city, but not as uptight as Tokyo, and they absolutely love food and having a good time. We stayed in the Dōtonbori area for three nights, which is the epicenter of said good times. We would walk out of our hotel door and instantly be surrounded with hundreds of bars, restaurants, and night clubs. It’s crowded, but with great energy.  I have a ton of photos, so I will just add some short comments to each. But if considering Japan, do not skip Osaka.

A river runs through the middle of Dōtonbori.

Osaka

Walking through shinsaibashi, the shopping “mall” in Dotonbori.

Osaka

Just a guy walking his pet chipmunk. It would run up his leg and hang out on his shoulder, which was great.

Osaka

The streets of Dotonbori are colorful, and storefronts generally feature three dimensional icons, some of which are mechanical, like the crab  below. Crab is a famous dish in Osaka.

Osaka

Osaka

We went out for kushiyaki, which are basically skewered things. Yakitori is chicken kushiyaki.

Osaka

Outside one of many fugu (puffer fish) restaurants.

Osaka

Fugu sushi sampler. My lips were a little tingly after eating them, but I’m still alive.

Osaka

Fugu hot pot, raw fugu salad, misc fugu items. It’s a pretty boring fish actually, quite bland, no fat.

Osaka

This place served up huge bowls of uni, ikura, crab, and other raw fish for $9-11.

Osaka

Osaka is famous for the takoyaki – hot dough filled with octopus – featured on every street corner. They serve them so blazingly hot it’s impossible to not burn your mouth.

Osaka

They sauce them up for you, then top them with katsuobushi, which waves in the wind in an eery way. I ate this one while out on the street under an overhang while it rained, doing my best to manage the hot lava in my mouth. So good. Filling, and cheap too.

Osaka

Osaka is a twenty minute train ride from Kobe, so much great beef is served in Osaka. I decided to see what that was all about at a teppanyaki restaurant, which yes, is sort of setup like Benihana. My sister in law calls it “ninja steak”. They are not cheap in Japan. I think it was $100 for my dinner “set”, which featured a smoked duck appetizer, salad, rice, some vegetables, and my steak.

Osaka

Marbled.

Osaka

Delicious.

Osaka

We ventured around and did tourist things too. The Osaka aquarium has nearly the largest single tank in the world, second only to, you guessed it, Atlanta.

Osaka

Osaka

 

I swear this is one of the ROUS’s from Princess Bride. 

Osaka Osaka
View from the top of Umeda Sky Building.

Osaka

Late night Dotonbori.

Osaka

All noodles, all the time.

Osaka

Takoyaki.

Osaka

One of my favorite food experiences was at this yakitori place. Former famous Atlanta food writer Gene Lee told me, “there is a great yakitori place near the Swissotel”. So I wandered over there and found it. He was right. Amazing.

Osaka

This guy cooked yakitori for my face. The level of care and precise repetition which went in to each skewer was hypnotic.

Osaka

I ate raw chicken (just seared on outside). They said they take delivery of chicken every day, except Sundays, so they don’t offer raw chicken on Sundays. But they featured many completely raw dishes, including a plate of raw chicken oysters (from the thigh). They say that due to their relationship with the farmer, the freshness, the chicken’s diet, and the quality of the breed, that they are comfortable serving it that way. Indeed, the chicken was amazing. Even raw, it was tender and juicy.

Osaka

More chicken parts. So damn good. I crave this as much as anything from the trip. Anyone have recommendations for yakitori in Atlanta? It’s been a while since I’ve been to Jinbei. Shoya izakaya is fine, but I want real badass yakitori.

Osaka

  • Sally Morris

    OMG That Steak!!!! I’ve never seen anything like that!

  • merryj

    Hi, May I know what is the name of the yakitori restaurant?
    Thanks.

  • http://www.eatitatlanta.com jimmy

    I’m sorry, but I do not know! It’s on a corner and it’s near the Swisshotel in Namba

  • anna

    Do you know the name of the teppanyaki restaurant? that beef looks marvelous and I’m going to Osaka next week!

  • http://www.eatitatlanta.com jimmy

    I don’t know…sorry. I just used trip advisor to find a highly rec’d place in walking distance from our hotel in Dontonburi. There are many in that area to choose from!

  • Pingback: Gato Arigato — Eat It, Atlanta - Atlanta Restaurant | Cooking | Food Blog()

  • christina

    Been searching for the yakitori place by the swissotel for like an hour. driving me crazy! i want to find it. any other hints about the location?

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