Before going to Hiroshima, here’s a list-up of other gorgeously fatty foods we ate in the Glutton’s City.
This, my friends, is breakfast. My Grandma-in-law grilled a snapper for breakfast in celebration of our marriage because snapper is the ultimate good-luck food. Grandma also fed us lots of delicious seasonal fruit.
Move over, macaron, cause your time is over. Nowadays in Japan, the dessert-of-the-moment is the roll cake. All kiosks at the train stations sold some sort of a limited edition roll cake, but this one reigns supreme and you can only eat this if you reserve one – which is exactly what Don’s Auntie did. This Doshima Roll from Mon Chou Chou won the 2010 Monde Selection award (a prestigious award given to snacks of the year) and they only sell 100 each per store. Needless to say, it’s an uber tasty roll, with the moistest sponge ever and extra fluffy cream.
Don’s Auntie is a proud Osakan AND a foodie (she Tabelogs, which is similiar to Yelp), and was our guide during our stay in Osaka. She lead the way to many, many noms in her beloved town… I think we both gained 5 pounds each during our stay there.
Mosey on for more!
Auntie works by the Umeda station, which is one of the huge central train/subway hubs in Osaka. It’s also connected to a huge underground shopping center network, and is constantly packed with people. We ate at one of her favorite yoshoku-ya (Japanese ‘Western’ cuisine) in the hub called Nespa.
For starters, we had a cup of cold chicken consomme. During our stay, it was constantly over 100 degrees with 80% humidity – so this felt so good going down our throats.
Nespa is famous for the Koropetto. It’s your favorite filling – beef, pork, shrimp, or chicken – wrapped in a bechamel sauced based paste, which is breaded with panko and then deep fried. No sauce, except for a squeeze of lemon and a dab of house mustard! I thought it was okay, but Don lurved his pork Koropetto (945 yen).
I had the special of the day, which was Ebi-fry and Hamburg combo (900 yen-ish). Standard – the ebi-fry was very crispy and hamburg steak was tasty, but then again… Anything in Japan tastes good.
Auntie asked us what Japanese food was ‘in’ in the states right now, and we both told her that Ippudo ramen is all-the-rage – last time Ippudo was in town, we waited an hour to get a bowl. Of course Auntie’s the answer was “Ippudo!? That’s sooooo 90s.”
I guess in Japan, the ramen of the moment are the “double soup” ramens – specifically tonkotsu/chicken hybrid soups. Then she took us to her favorite ramen shop, Shio Gensui. We went right after opening and it was already a 30 minute wait.
Don had their signature Tennen Shio Ramen (sea salt ramen) Special set. This ramen was SO good! It’s rich, but not to the degree of Santouka’s signature shio, thanks to the chicken broth infusion. Their handmade noodles are very chewy, and the eggs are perfectly cooked. Why can’t I have ramen like this in LA?
Since he had the special set, it also came with some gyoza…
And half an order of fried rice. ALL THIS FOR 1100 yen (roughly 13 bucks)!!! Jeebus.
I didn’t touch his food because I had the negishio ramen with jako gohan (850 yen). Basically the shio ramen with some scallion oil and a shit ton of crunchy sweet scallions. So good.
The jako gohan (fish rice): little baby fish, glazed with sweet soy sauce, then plopped over a piping hot bowl of rice. I barely made a dent in it because I drank all the soup from my ramen. But still delicious!
Auntie’s favorite is the ume-shio ramen (750 yen). It’s their signature sea salt ramen with some ume flakes. The sourness of pickled plums makes this rich soup very refreshing.
On our last day, we skipped lunch and decided to pick up food at the bullet train station instead. Every train station in Osaka is a food lover’s dream come true, or, more like a dieter’s living nightmare… So many kiosks and shops and bakeries, ohmy.
I managed to restrain myself with just 1 meal – the Naniwa Mansai Bento (1000 yen) which is only available at the Shin-Osaka station. I’m a sucker for limited edition stuff (hence, the Hello Kitty phone straps). It’s supposed to be an “Osakan food culture in one box” kind of deal – with takoyaki, kushi-katsu, Konoe-chicken kayaku gohan (flavored rice), and some simmered vegetables. Carb overload much, but very enjoyable.
I let Don get lunch on his own so that I could secure a seat for the both of us… And holyflyingbatman did he buy food. He bought some takoyaki from Kukuru (WHY!? they come to LA all the time) and some pork buns from 551 Horai. The takoyaki was freshly made, but became soggy from being packaged while still hot. Gross.
The pork buns were good, but very porcine and a bit heavy on the meat juice/oil/stuff boys like. A good deal I guess cause it’s only 6 for 960 yen, but I don’t know what made him think that he could eat 6 of these ginormo buns.
PLUS he ate some Pork Gyoza from 551 Horai (260 yen for 10 pc) with an extra large can of beer. He puts the title foodie to shame.
Mon Chou Chou Hankyu Umeda
Osaka, Umeda station
1st floor of the Hankyu shopping center
Osaka, Umeda station
floor b2 of Ekimae Building #3
Shio Gensui Honten
Next up… Hillbilly madness in Hiroshima!