When we first visited Osaka in 2012, we took a quick food tour with All Star Osaka Walks.
We enjoyed ourselves so much that I thought I'd do a tour with them again, with the whole family this time. Because we were also on a quest to eat Osaka's soul foods on this trip, I requested that we end the half day tour with a kushikatsu lunch at Shinsekai -- one of Osaka's interesting, old style districts.
Shinsekai or "New World" emerged soon after the second world war -- now, you could say it's more "old town" than "new world". The towering Tsutenkaku or Tower Reaching to Heaven definitely adds to the retro look and feel of the place.
Shinsekai has a lot of kushikatsu restaurants -- perhaps because this started out as a working man's area and kushikatsu or fried food on skewers is something that is very well within the reach of the everyone. Our All Star Osaka Walks guide Akie san brought us to a popular kushikatsu joint called Ohmiya.
Shinsekai and the restaurants and bars in the area really start hopping after dark so it wasn't a surprise that Ohmiya was not at all full when we got there.
Akie san pointed out the autographs and photos of famous Osakans that lined the walls attesting to this restaurant's fame.
Aside from the tables and booths, there is counter seating at Ohmiya. If you sit at the counter, you have a ringside seat to watch the cooks fry up your food.
We each ordered the 6 stick kushikatsu set. Each one of us got six different skewers of assorted fried food -- beef, pork, egg, scallop, shrimp, and mushroom. The cook placed the skewers on this tray as fast as he could fry them -- and we ate them just as fast too. We didn't even wait for the oil to drip!
If you want some more sauce on your kushikatsu after you've dipped your skewer, this small dish of torn apart cabbage leaves makes a nifty "brush" and saves you from the sin of double dipping.
It's also delightfully fresh, sweet and crunchy and makes a good foil to all the deep fried oily food.
As we exited Shinsekai on our way to the subway, we saw this statue of Billiken, a lucky figure popular in this area. Rub his toes and come back to Osaka.
We shall definitely return!
NB Thanks to husband Jay and son Gani for some of the photos used in this post!