photo by Tatsuo Yamashita
It’s been 10 years since “Washoku (Japanese cuisines)” joined the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Japanese dishes such as sushi and tempura are already well-recognized all over the world. However, it seems like the most popular Japanese food among foreigners is meat dishes, not sushi or tempura. It is true that Japanese wagyu beef is internationally well-known, and Japanese cuisines include lots of meat dishes such as tonkatsu and sukiyaki. Osaka city, in particular, has cultivated great food culture including distinctive local meat dishes.
Juso: Fujiyama (Offal Barbecue)
Quality wagyu beef is delicious on barbecues for sure, but what you should try in Osaka is offal barbecue (horumon-yaki). You probably have only a few occasions to have offal barbecue overseas, but in Japan, people enjoy eating the offal of cow or pig such as stomach, heart, and intestines. In Osaka, there are many offal barbecue shops. Fujiyama in Juso, Osaka serves standard offal plates of sparerib, tongue, stomach, large intestine, and small intestine with sauce or salt. The best thing about offal barbecue is that you can enjoy various textures that are chewy, melting, etc. which is very different from ordinary barbecue meat. If you have a chance to visit Osaka, try offal barbecue.
Address: 4-1-13 Juso-higashi, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka
Access: 8 minutes from Hankyu Takarazuka Line Juso Sta.
Shisekai: Yokozuna (Kushikatsu)
There are many local gourmets in Osaka, and Kushikatsu is one of them. Kushikatsu is a cuisine of deep-fried skewered meat and vegetables with bread crumbs batter which is very popular as the local food of Osaka. It is to be dipped in sauce before eating. Yokozuna, which has 5 shops in Osaka CBD, offers a variety of big-sized kushikatsu. They serve standard items like beef, offal, pork belly, and chicken thigh as well as something different like German spit cake and chocolate banana. Also, they have many side dishes. Reasonable pricing starting from 120 yen per skewer is great, you can eat a lot!
Address: 2-4-11 Ebisu-higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka
Access: 3 minutes from JR Shin Imamiya Sta. or Osaka Metro Midosuji Line Dobutsuen-mae Sta.
Opening hours: 11:00 – 22:00
Namba: New Munchen Minami-Taishikan (Fried Chiken)
Fried chicken is always great to accompany with beer. In Japan, takeaway fried chicken shops have become very popular since a few years ago, and many new shops have been newly opened in Osaka too. A beer restaurant New Munchen has a great passion for fried chicken, serving delicious chicken marinated in a special sauce and deep-fried beautifully. Crispy outside and juicy inside, fried chicken that goes along with beer perfectly, is only available here.
New Munchen Minami-Taishikan
Address: SWING Yoshimoto Building 2F, 12-35 Namba Sen-nichimae, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Access: 2 minutes from Osaka Metro Midosuji Line/Nankai Main Line Namba Sta., 5 minutes from Kintetsu Namba Line/Hanshin Namba Line Osaka-namba Sta.
Opening hours: Mon – Fri 14:00 – 22:00, Sat, Sun, Public holiday 12:00 – 22:00
Kitashinchi: Budo-tei (Meat Patties)
This is a Western-style cuisine restaurant in Kitashinchi, which is famous for its plump juicy meat patties. There usually is a queue around lunchtime. They serve patties with brown sauce, cheese patties, patties with fried prawns, and patties with beef steak which are quite big in size. This shop quite small with a few tables and seats at the counter, if you don’t want to wait, a takeaway menu is available. By the way, the steak here tastes great.
Address: B2F, 1-1-3 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka
Access: 3 minutes from JR Kitashinchi Sta.
Opening hours: 11:00 – 21:00
Shinsaibashi: Kitamura (Sukiyaki)
Sukiyaki is now a common dish that is cooked in households in Japan, but it has a rather short history. It was after the Meiji Period that Japanese people started eating sukiyaki. The sukiyaki restaurant Kitamura in Shinsaibashi is an old sukiyaki restaurant established in 1881 that has been walking together with the history of sukiyaki. While sukiyaki is cooked in a sauce called “warishita” in Eastern Japan, meat is pan-fried first and sugar and soy sauce is added in Western Japan. Certainly, what you will have at Kitamura is Western-Japanese-style sukiyaki of richly fattened wagyu beef.
Address: 1-16-27 Higashi-Shinsaibashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Access: 4 minutes from Osaka Metro Midosuji Line Shinsaibashi Sta., 7 minutes from Osaka Metro Sakaisuji Line Nagahoribashi Sta.
Opening hours: 16:00 – 22:00 (Closed Sun & public holidays)
Osaka has so many local gourmets such as Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki and is known as the city of food culture. You shouldn’t miss Offal barbecue (horumon-yaki) and Kushikatsu, local meat dishes of Osaka, while your stay in Osaka. There are so many more restaurants and eateries that serve beautiful meat dishes in Osaka. The shops introduced in this column are well-known popular eateries, but of course, there are many more! Just drop by whatever shop catches your eye, then that may become your favorite!