Dotonbori-Street Food in Japan!
As I said in my previous post, I found Osaka to be the best place in Japan for street food. I recommend walking up and down the neon light street of Dotonbori (the main strip of Osaka) at least once to check out all the stalls of food and then start to hit as many of them you can! This is one of those nights where you’re just happy you’re trying all of these new foods, and experience the culture around them.
I started the night with one of Osaka’s most famous dishes Takoyaki (Octopus balls). I believe this dish originated from Osaka; I did see some Takoyaki in street food vendors outside a temple in Kyoto but apart from that it can only be found on the streets of Osaka. While walking down the street there were lots of different vendors selling them. I chose one that had two different types of Takoyaki; the original form which is octopus leg in some dough, and one that looked like it had bacon in it. Its then topped with Japanese mayo and and what looked to be teriyaki sauce with some fish flakes. I had never had anything like it. At first I expected it to be a similar texture to dumplings, but its so different. Takoyaki is more squishy then dumplings, which shocked me at first, but it was so good to try something that never would expect to even find!
After i had finished all Takoyaki Balls I went to go find the dish I was really excited for, and this one is a must have! I’ve looked for it everywhere in Japanese restaurants in the UK since being back and can never find a place that does it. So don’t miss your chance to try okonomiyaki. When I asked the chef what the dish is actually made out of, he said it roughly means everything and anything the chef has. As I watched the chef throw down some some batter, some cabbage, and chopping up some meat my mouth was just watering. It then started to form what looked like a omelette. I was expecting it to taste like one too, but my first bite was mind blowing. I don’t know if its because I watched it being made or what, but every flavour and texture went so well together. I wish I knew what else was in it, but i just stuffed it all down so fast that forgot to pay attention to any of ingredients!
As I rolled out of the door of the okonomiyaki stall I was sat in, I was thinking that I was so full and I’ve only just started on my self guided street food tour. so I went to find something to drink to wash it all down and hoped that I could carry on eating after some time. As I walked down the street I saw a Tapioca stall and as I got there I saw a girl walk away with a bright green drink. So when it was my turn to order I said I would have what she just had. I had to try as much green tea-based drinks as possible while in Japan!
I didn’t even have time to finish my tea before my eyes had lit up again! I saw a sign that said “Ghozas 300 yen.” 300 yen! That’s not even £2! I had to get some even if can only have one before I explode. Now, these weren’t the best gyozas I had in Japan (I was spoiled at a gyoza bar in Kyoto!) but as you can see from picture, for the price and how good they tasted, I think they was best value for money I had seen that day.
I Decided after the gyozas that I had officially gained 4 pounds this night, so I may as well finish it off with some some dessert! I decided to go for a melon pan as I found this to be one of my favourites. So figured why not try a fresh one! Even better they they did a strawberry infused melon pan served with ice cream! This was absolutely incredible! I may even say it was better than hot brownies and ice cream (my favourite dessert in the UK!)
Whether you choose to eat at an izakaya or grab food some street food, in Osaka you will have some of the best food in your life. This mixed with locals wanting to talk to you and recommend their favourite spots makes Osaka one of my favourite places. The street food was of course more touristy but I still loved it because it wasn’t to expensive, and still let me experience some Japanese culture
The Takoyaki was 500 yen (£3.50), okonomiyaki was 900 yen (amazing value for money as it could just be meal by itself), gyhzo (300 yen), and the melon pan was also 500 yen. So for the typical touristy spot it really wasn’t bad for the price. You just have to shop around and find the best place for you. To find the okonomiyaki I actually climbed 3 floors of the building. But it was really quiet and no tourists were in there. Even though it was on Dotonbori. So I would say that there is no need to go in a fancy restaurant, just look around and you’ll find somewhere incredible