It was my last night in Osaka and after a whole day of business meetings, a farewell dinner party that took forever -- I realized that I was about to leave the city without having tried its famous specialties -- takoyaki and okonomiyaki.
This was a sin of omission for me, since I always make it a point to try the iconic, signature dish in each new place that I visit.
But here it was -- almost 11 pm and I was out wandering the streets alone believing that since okonomiyaki and takoyaki are street foods, I would surely find one or the other.
Luckily, the hotel I was staying in abuts the famed Kitashinchi area -- Osaka's answer to Tokyo's Ginza.
I wandered through the well lit streets -- so many luxurious and premium looking bars, such flashy cars, so many well dressed, well coiffed women.
And then I saw it! The familiar large red caricature of a huge octopus! An all night takoyaki stall.
The fat squiggly cartoon tentacles seemed to wave at me -- I would get my takoyaki fix, at last!
One order cost only Y399. The styropor tray held 8 large balls -- freshly made and steaming hot, topped with sauce, bonito flakes, hot chili and with a squirt of mayonnaise on the side.
Unlike the takoyaki you find in Manila where there are hardly any octopus bits, each ball yielded large chopped pieces of octopus tentacles -- so chewy, so yummy!
Mental note to self -- this seafood treat on a weekday must be made up for by staying vegetarian on Sunday.
Small price to pay for finally getting my iconic Osaka taste experience!