Tuesday 10 July 2012

Good eats in Osaka

Since I am already on the topic of food, why not let me show you the food scene in Osaka? Osaka has always been called "kuidaore," literally meaning "bringing ruin upon oneself by extravagance in food," and known for its food culture.  
It is impossible to go hungry in Osaka. All the convenience stores sell chilled cooked food like bentos, onigiri, mochi and sandwiches. The supermarkets have such a huge selection of hot food that you can possibly have all your meals there without getting jaded.
Wide array of cooked food in the supermarkets.
Bentos of all kinds.
Sweets and desserts.
I love the mochi!
 Food prices in the restaurants are quite reasonable too. And the service is top-notch. Most of the outlets have attractive signboards and billboards advertising their dishes.

We ate at this restaurant called "Sky Dog" one night and enjoyed everything we ordered.
Stewed pork.
Fried tofu.
Crispy noodles.
Fired ramen.
 Along the food street of Namba, you can find a Takoyaki stall everywhere you turn. Takoyaki was first popularized in Osaka, invented by a street vendor named Tomekichi Endo in 1935. For the clueless, Takoyaki ('octopus bake') are hot savory wheat-flour balls with a piece of boiled octopus in the middle.

We bought ours from this earnest looking young man. The balls here are a lot softer than the ones we get back home, so much so that they kept falling apart when we tried lifting using the bamboo sticks provided.
 Osaka is also famous for producing fake plastic food. Most restaurants display fake food that look so unbelievably real and yummy, you just want to reach out and grab some.
I had a quick dinner alone at a popular tempura cafe by the subway station one night. Watching the skillful chef prepare the meals was such a delightful experience, I didn't mind the wait at all.
 Their systematic approach of assembling tempura rice is so impressive, I almost had the impulse to set up a similar shop back home. Of course that was quickly forgotten when I finished eating my delicious dinner.
 After eating Japanese food for several days, we opted for Korean lunch one day.
I love the unique taste of the toasted rice candy.
The sweet potato noodle was cooked to perfection.
I liked the ginseng chicken so much, I replicated the dish when I returned home.
Beef bibimbap.
Crack a raw egg and quickly stir it in while the rice is piping hot.
Cold noodle in a tangy stock is surprisingly refreshing.
Waffle and ice cream.
Shaved ice with green tea syrup, red beans and ice cream.

The subway is a dangerous place for the weight conscious. With countless shops flanking the walkway, it is easy to succumb to temptation. Even after a heavy lunch, we snuck  into this small cafe to try their version of crispy fried noodles.

 If not for the long queue, I would have bought some of the famous Pablo cheesecake as well.
 Look at how delicious these are!
 It was raining on the last night we were there, so we decided to stay in and dine at the hotel's restaurant.

Seafood hotpot.
Simmering hot pot.
This restaurant makes its own beancurd skin using traditional methods. The end result is so unique and delicate, it was probably the best savoury beancurd I had ever tasted.
Unique egg and tofu creation.
Bittergourd was in season and here it was cooked with egg, bean sprouts and topped with shaved bonito.
Japanese style fried rice.


Amel said...

CRUUUEEELLLLLL...I'm busy licking my lips here 'coz of drooling too much. I should go to Japan one day he he he he...:-D

Open Kitchen Concept said...

Looks good! The crispy noodles is a type of noodles called Nagasaki Sara Udon. There is a place at Raffles Place that sells it and oh.. its yummy!

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Fake Food said...

Nice photos! You are right on with Osaka showcasing fake food displays all over the place. In case you didn't know, the fake food industry actually got started in Osaka around 80 years ago. Next time you are visiting, be sure to make an appointment to attend a fake food making workshop.

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