Oishii Osaka

Osaka is truly deserving of its status as the kitchen of Japan. There is something about the little nooks and crannies of Osaka’s food streets that lends it a quaint charm. From the quiet hum of the bars at Fukushima district to the hustle and bustle of the famous Dontonburi district, Osaka has certainly captured my tummy’s devotion.

This was my first trip to Japan (and to Osaka), hence I entrusted my tummy to my Japanese colleagues and asked them to recommend the best local food they know. Little did I know, my innocent request sparked a “heated debate” about the best okonomiyaki in town. So here’s a shoutout to my dear colleagues (Rie and Fusako especially) for their generous hospitality and friendship – どうもありがとうございました 🙂 Read on for my top 3 picks…

1. Dan Okonomiyaki

This unassuming hole-in-the-wall joint has a small seating capacity of 20-30, so be prepared for things to get smoky in here. But trust me, it’s worth it. The kimchi pork and okonomiyaki were the highlights of the night, paired with kirin and cold sake. Crisp noodles enveloped with a light layer of egg, dressed with a sweet-savoury sauce and bonito flakes – this meal was an unforgettable one.

dan okonomiyako osaka
(left to right): Rie, me and Fusako

dan okonomiyaki osaka

2. Kishiwada Gofuso (Ganko Sushi)

Located within walking distance of the beautiful Kishiwada castle, Kishiwada Gofuso is a rustic Japanese inn with its own restaurant, Ganko sushi. Part of a chain well-known for its affordable yet delicious cuisine, one can expect a 10-20 course kaiseki menu made with the freshest ingredients (their tuna especially) and careful precision. I had the privilege of dining here during our company’s conference dinner in a private dining room complete with tatami mats and staff dressed in kimonos. MY colleagues also made special arrangements for us to watch their sushi chef prepare nigiri sushi live during dinner.

IMG_0548 kishiwada gofuso ganko sushi

3. Pancotei

Kushiage also known as kushikatsu, is native to Osaka. Kushi means stick or skewer, while Age means fried. Pancotei is a contemporary kushiage restaurant recognised as one of the best places to sample these decadent bite-sized morsels of food. Experience a 15 or 20-course dinner over 90 minutes complete with dessert and tea. From bites of tender wagyu beef and spoonfuls of abalone, to truffle croquettes, every mouthful is a careful amalgamation of flavours that will leave you wanting more. Grab counter seats and witness the meticulous preparation of each course before it goes into your belly…

IMG_0489 IMG_0491

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