Good Eats: 3 Different Sides of Osaka

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The “Good Eats” series chronicles the best restaurants, diners, grills, eateries and greasy spoons across Japan.

Osaka aka “The Nation’s Kitchen” is indeed the best place to be if you’re a foodie like me. You will find the most mouth-watering and delectable dishes here, the kind of foods that will have you shrugging at those extra pounds you will absolutely put on.

But what some many not realize is that in Osaka- the land of takoyaki, yakisoba and just about every other food that can be yaki‘d out there- you can still find many different types of foods from all over. That “all over” includes in Japan and beyond! Here are 3 of my favorite places to grab a bite in Japan’s Second City, all of which offer a taste of something different.

DISCLAIMER: Grab a snack before continuing on!

Soul Food

Soul Food is a restaurant dedicated to Okinawan food. And let me tell you… this place is amazing!!

Location: Umeda
Food: 10/10

The folks here are the best. They are very honest and kind (and cute!) and you will receive great customer service. The prices are a bit steep, but it is absolutely worth it. Being an Okinawan restaurant, they specialize in Goya, which I personally have a hard time stomaching, but there are many other dishes on the menu that are definitely worth a try.

The Pork Tongue (right) is so soft it practically melts in your mouth. Okinawan-style Seaweed is an interesting food to try- the tiny green bulbs pop in your mouth. It’s quite fun to eat!

But let’s get right down to this big, nasty one: Goya.

I only say it’s nasty because I don’t like it, but my friends seemed to enjoy it! They find ways to mix Goya into everything here! We asked the waiter “Is the Goya cocktail any good?” and his face was priceless! The man tried to be honest and told us it’s bad, but I think my friend had a death wish and ordered it anyway!

For those who love it though, I do recommend the Goya Champuru. It’s Goya mixed with tofu and meat. The Goya completely overpowers everything else in this dish. But if you like Goya, give it a try!

Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of my favorite dish, but it contains the interesting mix of ham and dragon fruit!

I never would have thought these entirely different things would taste so good together, but it is to die for. We ordered this twice!

The ham is thinly sliced, savory and soft, and wrapped around the chilled dragon fruit. Somehow the dragon fruit cleanses your palate while eating the ham, and it’s just indescribable. If you’re in Umeda this is a must try. I promise you’ll order two (or more) servings as well!

 

PUSAN

Pusan as you might guess from the name is a Korean restaurant. Many people go here after work. It is very tiny inside but this creates a wonderful, happy atmosphere.

Location: Umeda
Food: 10/10

I came here twice. I love spicy food and I ate cheese buldak once before, so guess what I ordered?

If you guessed cheese buldak then you’re right! Buldak is boneless chicken, here covered in melted cheese, spice and everything nice!

This was so spicy it made my ears burn. My face was on fire but it was sooooo good! Personally, the portion was a bit small, but it’s a good meal to share if your spice tolerance isn’t high. Please specify if you want buldak or cheese buldak! The cheese makes all the difference in my opinion.

The workers only speak Korean and Japanese and there is no English menu, so prepare to use your trusty translator if you only speak English. Despite the language barrier, Pusan is another must-visit.

Nigiri Chojiro

Nigiri Chojiro is a Sushi restaurant. This sushi shop has conveyor belt-style sushi, but you can also dine-in at a table and make your own orders. They also have somen, soups and some delectable desserts (mostly mango)

Location: Ibaraki
Food: 8/10

I was never a person to crave sushi, but after coming here several times I now have made a point of stopping by almost every week. Upon entering you can choose to sit at the conveyor belt or at a table. Sadly, I have a habit of dropping my food from my chopsticks or just dropping a chopstick in general, so to save myself from any further embarrassment, I always sit at a table.

Before going to the table you must remove your shoes and store them in the cabinet. At the table you are given a tea cup and you can make your own tea with the handy hot water spout and selection of tea bags. There is a tablet that is used to order food and there is an English menu for all you non-Japanese speaking foodies.

Osaka has much more to offer than these 3 restaurants, but there will be no disappointment if you do give ‘em a try. They are all vastly different but each holds a special place in my heart. Always remember that food tastes best when its shared among people and its worth to try everything at least once.

All you need in this world is love and sometimes that comes in the form of food! Happy eating!

Images for this article were provided by Natalia Lalgee. Cover photo provided by pixabay.com

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Natalia Lalgee

From Trinidad and Tobago
Has just begun the first of many years in Japan!