When I was searching where to eat okonomiyaki in Osaka (pre-trip planning), Kiji’s name kept popping up. So I made that as my no 1 must-visit restaurant in Osaka. Kiji きじ has two restaurants in Osaka, one in Shinumeda Shokudogai (near Umeda and Osaka Station) which is the main shop/honten and the other one at Umeda Sky Building (about 2km away). Both are located at the same ward, Kita. Many people were confused between the two and so was I, originally.
At first, I wanted to visit the one at Umeda Sky Building because it seems to be a popular choice among tourist (just look at the number of English reviews at Tripadvisor). But because I’m short of time (tsk return trip from Umeda Sky Building to Osaka Station means having to waste about an hour of walking), I decided Shinumeda Shokudogai is the better choice. Besides, it seems more locals visit the main shop. FYI, Shinumeda Shokudogai 新梅田食道街 is an area populated with many restaurants and is located between Osaka Station & Umeda Station.
My, what a sight! On the left is pork okonomiyaki and right is squid okonomiyaki.
While heading to our okonomiyaki lunch on day 2 in Osaka, we saw this particular bread shop with rows of shining anpan on display. Yup, it were calling us… begging
for attention to be eaten! So after having our delicious meal, we stopped by Kokoroniamai Anpanya こころにあまい あんぱんや to sample our first ever and only anpan in Japan.
What’s an anpan? It’s a sweet bun filled with yummy filling. The filling can vary from the most common ones such as red bean, green bean, chestnut, green tea, sweet potato, custard to more creative ones such as cream cheese, curry, etc.
So many choices.
Corniest corn muffins… Woah what a name! When I saw the title of this recipe from Baking From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan, I knew right away this will be the first recipe I will try from her book. Yeah, I bought my first ever Dorie’s book not too long ago. 🙂 As a corns lover there’s no way I could say no to this.
Corniest corn muffins.
After tackling our first takoyaki in Japan at Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka on our first day in Osaka, we went for okonomiyaki next for dinner. According to Tabelog, Fukutaro 福太郎 is ranked no. 2 in Osaka (at time of writing), so I had more than normal expectation for it.
We went at 6.20pm and was shown to another entrance at the side which opens up to another dining area. There are four to five tables with raised floor seating. There were no queue at that time but if I remember correctly the main restaurant were nearly packed.
In the main restaurant, there are counter seating where you can watch the chef cooks.
What is the no. 1 must-do thing in Osaka? Eat!
Eat what? Takoyaki and okonomiyaki of course!
For two days, I stuffed myself with them. No regret. I’m glad nobody in my group complained because when we visited Tokyo later, I got request for more takoyaki and okonomiyaki. Haha
I’m a BIG fan of takoyaki. Yes, I ❤️ takoyaki. Having sampled many right in my home country and even cook my own takoyaki, I thought I won’t be surprised by it anymore. Wrong. Osaka’s version of takoyaki is really different; taste and texture wise.
I visited Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka main shop (main shop is called 本店 honten in Japanese) on my first night in Osaka. It’s less than a minute away from Sennichimae Doguyasuji (Osaka’s version of kitchen street). If you’re not in that area, do check out their website (http://takoyaki-wanaka.com/en/04_tenpo.html) for other branches.
Freshly made takoyaki! Sorry, I have to blur your face handsome guy.
I’m a big fan of butternut squash (also known as butternut pumpkin) ever since I made this grilled butternut squash dish. I recently bought one from the grocer and knew I need to try roasted butternut squash soup. Roasting butternut squash will enhance the overall taste to the next level, making it richer, sweeter and rustic.
One of the best kept secret about cooking is you don’t need fancy side ingredients and seasonings to bring out the best of your star ingredient. I believe it’s the same with baking. Therefore I pair it with just carrot and shallots.
Roasted butternut squash & carrot soup is 😍