Eating myself bankrupt in Osaka

We’ve just spent our first day in Osaka. Ostensibly we’re here to get our Korean visas sorted out, but the real reason is to eat!

Osaka is Japan’s second largest city, and boasts a stellar food reputation. While Tokyo may have the honour of being the city with the most Michelin stars in the world, tougher, grittier Osaka is known as the “kitchen of Japan.” The city is famous for it’s Takoyaki and Okonimiyaki, and after a day here, it’s easy to see how the Osakan saying “Kuiadore” (eat yourself to ruin) might conceivably be played out.

After literally bounding out the door of the Korean consulate, I flexed my tastebuds with one of these. This interesting creation involved three pieces of Takoyaki sandwiched between two wafers, with mayonaise and sauce in what could be called a Taco-yaki.

I have to say I wasn’t too happy with the results. The wafer (which was a little too sweet in my opinion) cracked instantly, turning the sandwich into an instant drip liability. I don’t mind a bit of messiness now and again, but when half my meal falls on the floor I start to get a little annoyed. The Takoyaki for it’s part was okay, though I was unable to discern any octopus. I’ll definitely go the more traditional route next time.

My next Osaka food experience was this tuna sashimi from Kuromon market. The tuna was being sliced up on site and packaged into little plastic trays, arranged according to price (I chose the mid-ranged option.)

Fresh and blood red, the tuna literally dissolved in my mouth. My first impression, however, was lukewarm. I felt that the sashimi, though good, tasted a little bitter. It was then, however, that I discovered the transformative power of wasabi. I’ve never been too fond of the green stuff, but when I added it to tuna and soy sauce it was like the planets had aligned.The hot, nose burning sensation from the wasabi proved just the right foil to the the fish, lifting it immeasurably and making the whole experience sublime.