Tokyo isn’t the only city in Japan with delicious food. I go out of my way to research and find delicious food, so you don’t have to! Here are some of my most memorable and favourite affordable meals in Osaka, so tasty that I have eaten at all of them more than once.
Shinsaibashi Madras 5
I got hooked on Japanese curry after my first trip to Japan. Out of all the curries I have eaten, Shinsaibashi Madras 5 remains at the top of the list. If you are not familiar with Japanese curry, it’s in a league of its own. Japanese curry is not spicy like Indian curries (although at many places you can increase the spice level) and not super aromatic like Thai curries. It’s a slightly sweet, slightly spicy THICK umami-flavour-bomb – you have to eat it to know what I’m talking about. If you’re into curries, you’ll love it! Here, the curry base is has a wonderful peppery kick to it. I go for the double chicken curry (pictured below). This curry is chicken overload: chunks of chicken thigh covered in a chicken curry base, with a chicken katsu cutlet – a bargain at 1,500 Yen. They also offer brown rice, instead of white, and beef and vegetarian curries.
My first ever bowl of ramen. Not just in Japan, ever. 40+ different bowls later from all over Japan, I ALWAYS come back here if I am in Osaka. And for a good reason, it is one of the best. JUNK STORY is known for their shio (salt) chicken ramen – a light shio/chicken broth with medium-thick noodles, topped with chicken tataki (seared chicken, but completely safe for consumption) and half-cooked egg. However, I fell in love with their shoyu bowl (pictured below). A deep soy sauce broth with thick noodles, topped with perfectly cooked medium-rare chashu – this bowl is amazing. I opt to add garlic chips for 100Y and often increase the noodle portion to 150grams (also at additional cost). Remember: if you’re going big on the noodle portion, it’s customary to eat every noodle in your bowl, especially in shops which give you a free upgrade – so choose wisely! Another amazing thing about Junk Story is their karrage (fried chicken). Somehow achieving supreme crunchiness in the batter, but maintaining succulent juicy chicken on the inside – this is a must have side dish! Located a short walk from Osaka-Uehommachi station and open daily from 11am.
Yashichi made the top 50 best shops ramen in Japan in 2016 and is often the highest ranked shop in Osaka (rankings change). Do I need to say more? Even if I don’t, I will – if you need further convincing. This shop is located a short walk from Nakatsu station and only open 10:45 – 4pm on weekdays (not on national holidays), so plan accordingly. Luckily for you, they have devised a ticket system to deal with their popularity. When you arrive, you will be handed a ticket with a time which you should return. When I arrived at 1030am, I received a ticket for 11am. Easy. They offer both shio and shoyu based broth. I went for the shoyu – I find the soy sauce adds a level of depth that salt can’t achieve. Both use a creamy, rich, thick chicken based soup which sticks to every noodle you slurp. It goes without saying I highly recommend a visit to this shop – one that lives up to the hype. See below for evidence of deliciousness.
Known colloquially between my friends as “young chicken”, this might be some of the juiciest chicken you’ll ever eat. Located on the third floor of an office building in Shinsaibashi, it’s not the easiest to find but absolutely worth locating. Choose from “young chicken” (hinadori) and “old chicken” (oyadori) – served as a chicken leg and thigh, covered in a crispy salt and pepper seasoned skin and paired with fresh crunchy cabbage leaves. Definitely go for the young chicken. At 900Y, it is an absolute bargain. It’s the juicier version of its older counter-part. While the old chicken has a deeper flavour, it’s much chewier and more difficult to eat. Sides dishes include onigiri (rice-ball – perfect for dipping into your left over chicken juice), chicken broth soup and shredded chicken fried rice bowl.
Craving pancakes? Why not check out Gram Cafe’s sought after fluffy pancakes? The premium pancakes (special fluffy pancakes) are served at 11AM, 3PM & 6PM and they only make 20 servings. Be sure to arrive early so you don’t miss out. Pancakes on a first in first serve basis.