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Osaka For One Year


Cornellrob
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All -

I was hoping to get some restaurant recommendations for Osaka and nearby areas. Essentially, my employer has asked that I go to Japan for one year, starting in July. I would be based in the Osaka area (precise address to be determined). So, since I am obsessed when it comes to food, I figured I'd start investigating.

I'll be going with my girlfriend, and both of us have wide-ranging tastes, and will eat almost anything. Since we'll be there for one year, we'll have a good amount of time to check out any recommendations you might have -- so don't hold back! In that regard, while I certainly welcome any suggestions regarding higher-end places, i'd would particularly like to hear about any place that may be more moderately priced, but are nonetheless really good at what they do and provide good value (i.e., good mid-range sushi places).

Thank you in advance for your help. Feel free to send me a private message if you prefer.

Rob

Edited by Cornellrob (log)
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Osaka is a pretty big town, so I'm guessing recommendations would be more helpful tailored to where you live and work. In the meantime, here's a place to start: http://www.bento.com/kansai/index.html

For day-to-day dining in Osaka I'd recommend looking for good upscale izakaya rather than specialty cuisines like sushi - you'll still get your daily dose of raw fish, along with much more variety.

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I can't offer any specific recommendations, but if you'll be in Osaka for a year you'll have no problems getting tips from locals. I have in-laws in Osaka and visit a few times a year and and can honestly say I've never had a bad meal there. Osakans are extremely picky about food and that is reflected in the restaurant scene.

You are also close to Kyoto and Kobe, two great food cities. In fact, it would be hard to think of a better place to be, food-wise, than Osaka (is my envy showing)?

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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I'm envious- some of the best food and most memorable meals I have ever had were in Osaka. I agree with the others that the food in Osaka is generally wonderful, and izakaya is the way to go. Personally, I never really got into the whole shabu-shabu thing and was teased for usually ordering donburi.

My favourite restauant in Osaka (and one of my favourite restaurants of all time) is simply called Izakaya Toyo, a short walk from Kyobashi station. If I told you that the entire restaurant is run from the back of a truck then you'd think it was dodgy! But the food is divine- I'll always remember the blowtorched tuna. The owner/chef (Toyo) has also popped up on Japanese TV occasionally, he's well known locally. I remain very impressed with his approach to cutting-board hygiene- judging from a clip I saw on TV he seems to use thick blocks of cutting board plastic, and every day he would use an electric planer (like a carpenter would use) to shave the cutting board down to a fresh and clean surface.

I just did a google search and although I couldn't find an exact address or location for you, I did find someone's blog on the same restaurant- very informative:

http://ofvegemiteandmiso.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/hello-world/

One of the most impressive (and expensive) meals I have ever eaten was at Kiccho's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiccho)- one of those times where you want to photograph every dish but you feel too silly and embarrassed to do so -between 12-15 courses of exquisitely presented morsels. There was some scandal a while ago regarding one Kiccho's restaurants but I don't know what it was about or how much the media hyped it. But the lunch I had at the Osaka restaurant is something I will always remember.

At the other end of the price scale - if you have a problem with jet lag then go to the fish market... great food at 4am. You can get sushi that's so fresh the prawns are still twitching on the rice.

Have fun!

-Chris

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