Asia’s Greatest Food Cities
Friends, countrymen, makan kaki, lend me your ears. I shall show you the way to paradise. Food paradise, that is. Loosen your belt and get your ENO ready, for we are about to journey through Asia’s Greatest Food Cities and mark out the treasures the great food gods have laid on the table.
In this series highlights the best food to try in each city, as recommended by locals who have lived & tasted it. Read on to find out the most popular local dishes and the best places you should go to try them.
Best Food in Osaka, Japan
Japanese savoury cabbage-based grilled pancakes, dating back to the Edo period. Osaka’s style of Okonomiyaki is the most popular version. The pan-fried mixed batter includes quite a few savoury ingredients, including egg, cabbage and yam. Once cooked, it is then topped with a variety of ingredients, making it almost like a pizza.
Popular fillings include shrimp, octopus, pork belly and cheese. The pancake is then topped off with the sweet and thick Otafuku okonomiyaki sauce (similar to plum sauce) and dried bonito flakes. Wasabi, Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise and seawood are some other great ingredients.
Best Okonomiyaki in Osaka:
It’s fun to visit Okonomiyaki restaurants that serve up teppanyaki style. Meaning, you get to cook your own Okonomiyaki at your table. Or if you prefer Okonomiyaki at its very best, sit at the coveted chef’s table. Here are 5 of the best Okonomiyaki Restaurants in Osaka:
Okonomiyaki Restaurant CHIBO
Okonomiyaki Restaurant BOTEJYU
Skewered deliciousness. All sorts of ingredients, lightly battered, skewered on bamboo kushi and fried to just the right level that you don’t feel guilty. You can have breaded prawns, chicken, mixed vegetables, quail eggs and a whole host of other choices. Dip in delicious sauce and enjoy. Have a chilled Japanese beer, like Sapporo or Asahi, for the perfect complement to your meal.
(Photo CC2.0: kimishowota)
Best Kushikatsu in Osaka:
Daruma Kushikatsu is a family-run chain of restaurants in Osaka, with good service and very good Kushikatsu. Order a set of 12 skewers to sample a good range of meats and veg. The essential kushikatsu sauce here is very yummy. You get a generous serving. But no double dipping! This is a pretty serious rule of etiquette.
1-6-4 Dotonbori Chuoku
Tel: +81 6 6213 8101
Best Kept Secret: Nakatsu City Cafes
Nakatsu City is a pretty castle town. Not only is the setting perfect, so is the food. There are lots of gourmet restaurants in Nakatsu but we’re even bigger fans of all the great cosy cafes. A hipster’s dream perhaps?
(Photo CC2.0: Sotaro OMURA)
Check out Chiki Tea Café for some Matcha goodness and baked delights to go. Wander around and you’ll find lots more low-key options that are perfectly inviting for a cosy afternoon tea or a little wine in the evening.