Fondly known as ‘Tenko No Daidokoro’, which translates to ‘The Nation’s Kitchen’, Osaka should be your one-stop destination in Japan if you’re on a gastronomic pilgrimage for some solid Japanese cuisine.
This food-focused metropolis is home to a plethora of delectable Japanese delights. From the humble street stall vendors selling piping hot takoyaki to the large restaurant chains that churn out plates of kaiten sushi, the vast variety of food here is sure to leave your stomachs hankering for more.
If you’ve been to Osaka or have done extensive research on it, you would probably have come across Kuromon Ichiba, a popular market that has been around for almost 170 years. Despite being a seafood market, the 580-metre stretch also has shops that sell fresh local produce as well as restaurants that serve up local cuisine.
A staggering average of 23,000 people visit Kuromon Ichiba a day and the market is said to not attract just tourists, but locals too. However, over the years, does the place continue to be an accurate representation of a Japanese seafood market or has it slowly evolved into just another tourist trap?
While Japan is home to a smorgasbord of delicious food options that never fail to leave us spoilt for choice, there are a few perennial staples that the Japanese always go back to.
Ramen is one of them and is considered comfort food; we mean, who can resist springy noodles doused in a piping hot, savoury broth? We definitely can’t.
Although we can never say no to a classic bowl of tonkatsu ramen, we don’t mind stepping out of our comfort zone and trying an unconventional version of it, which is why we were drawn to Tanchou in Osaka.
What makes Tanchou so different from the other ramen joints out there is that their ramen comes cooked with chawanmushi. For the uninitiated, chawanmushi is a Japanese-style steamed egg custard that has a silky texture. This bizarre combination undoubtedly piqued our interest and here is what we thought.
Saying that the Japanese love their ramen would be a complete understatement. Ramen is a staple food there and there is an abundance of ramen stores scattered all over Japan. While most of these places sell pretty good ramen, it is pretty hard to find a place that really knocks the ball out of the park.
In Japan, a place that sells good food can easily be recognised by the insane, snaking queues that can last for hours. One of the places in Tokyo that has some of the craziest queues is Fu-unji Ramen, a no-frills place that sells solid bowls of tsukemen ramen that is hard to beat.