Dotonbori, Osaka’s bright and noisy canal-side restaurant avenue is brimming with eateries catering to every taste and whim from lunch to late-night supper.
King of kushikatsu
Craving something sinful for lunch? Kushikatsu skewers can be made of almost anything: fish, meat, fruits, even ice cream, as long as it is dipped in batter and then deep fried to death in oil – not necessarily healthy, but as addictive as it gets. The skewers are served with black dipping sauce which works magically with almost everything. Daruma has served kushikatsu since 1929 and is still hugely popular. Just look out for a huge statue of an angry-looking chef and you’re in the right place. Spread on several floors, Daruma is a favourite among teens and toddlers and can get very noisy.
Daruma, 1-6-4 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka
There’s no such thing as decent budget-priced sushi, agreed, but that’s only true in Europe. Daiki Suisan is a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant that somehow manages to fire on all cylinders without breaking the bank. Take your time surveying what passes under your nose and grab what you fancy. Everything is fresh, skilfully cut and tasty, but especially great picks are miso-glazed unagi (eel) and toro, fatty tuna which really melts in the mouth. The bill rarely tops thirty euros even if you splurge a bit.
Daiki Suisan, 1-7-24 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Best ramen in town
After a grand tour of Dotonbori’s countless karaoke bars, there’s nothing better than a steaming bowl of ramen. Kinryu is a rowdy ramen shop populated by all kinds of patrons from high-fashion addicts to shady types. Kinryu’s milky white stock of pork bones takes at least one day to simmer, the noodles are always al dente, and the chashu, slices of pork belly, are moist and fatty. For those who crave more kick, just add garlic and kimchi. Choose your soup and beverage and pay at the automat. Kinryu has two shops along Dotonbori. Both are easy to recognise by the huge dragon statues.
Kinryu Ramen, 1-7-26 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Text by Mikko Takala Photos by Tommi Anttonen
This article is published in the November 2017 issue of Blue Wings.