coffee, chicken and sushi in osaka, japan (2016)

 

Which do you most want to go to? *

1. Utena Kissaten

Somewhat of a hidden gem, as I did not realise it was a tea/coffee shop until I saw someone open the door to exit. Utena Kissaten is a small tea/coffee house that serves a small selection of food and drink. 

Coffee includes full city blend coffee, French roast coffee, iced coffee and a coffee of the week. 

This is not a place to eat a meal. The selection of savoury food is only limited to toast. They have a small selection of cakes including cheesecake and pineapple cake.

Even though it is situated on a street, it is paradoxically invisible to the walking visitor, as there are no explicit signs to distinguish the place, especially when the doors are closed! The mere fact that I managed to find the name of the coffee shop on the internet is a miracle. 

I only saw one member of staff. A grey haired Japanese man with a gentle and polite demeanor. He was making drinks, serving customers and taking money. This means you can expect to wait a little to be served, and to wait again to receive your drinks/food. This is not a place for those in a hurry. This is not a good place for groups due to its small size, and is not a good place for loud animated discussions. The place is quiet with no background music, and no art hung on the walls. The customers inside were either having a quiet discussion or were on their laptops.

It essentially a plain traditional, quiet coffee shop that is virtually unrecognisable from the outside. It is a good place if you wish to focus on work, or wish to rest tired legs.

To find the place, either type Utena Kissaten on Google maps or type the address: 北区中崎西1-8-23 Osaka, 大阪府.

Courtesy of Google maps, it is this place below (a rather scary woman in white with a blurred face like something taken from "The Ring" is standing outside it, thanks Google maps!):

 

2. Katsuo restaurant

Katsuo is a chain of restaurants located around Osaka, I went to the restaurant close to Umeda station.

It is known for its delicious Nakatsu chicken. The place has a lively atmosphere, a stark contrast to the Utena Kissaten coffee shop above. It's bold three piece Japanese sign outside the restaurant is eye catching. You will certainly be able to spot the place if you are standing on the same street, and more so in the evening when the sign is lit up.

If you are lucky enough, you will be able to sit with a great view of the chef preparing the dishes with his assistant. It's menu is large, and with so much choice, there will be something that tickles your fancy!

To find the exact location of the specific branch I went to, type 勝男 梅田店 on Google maps. It is a moments walk from Umeda station, one of Osaka’s main railway stations. It stands next to hotel Landmark Umeda.

The location can be seen here courtesy of Google maps:

3. Ichiba Zushi

A place which is hard to find online without knowing the name of the place! Searching "sushi restaurant Osaka" on Google comes up with half a million results!

Ichiba Zushi is situated in the popular Namba district in central Osaka. It is in a large indoor shopping/ food area.

Going to Japan and not eating sushi is like going to the UK and not eating fish and chips. Everyone will ask you about sushi when you come home from Japan, and this is the best place to have it!

The sushi is excellent, the fish is fresh and the service is quick. You can choose from a wide selection of sushi and they are served in a set of two. 

There are two problems with this restaurant- 1. it is very popular and there can be a queue outside and 2. due to the amount of people wishing to visit the place, service feels hurried and rushed. They will serve you quickly, which is great if you are hungry and want good food fast, but it feels as if this is because they want your money and to get you out of the door for the next customer. I am sure this feeling would change if visiting at quieter times.

By searching “Ichiba Zushi Osaka” on Google maps you will find the location. I have not been able to locate an official website for this restaurant.

Courtesy of Google maps, the restaurant looks like this from the outside:

4. Other attractions

If visiting Osaka, you must go to Dotonburi! It is the main tourist attraction of Osaka, which is essentially the main area for shopping and nightlife. It is best to go in the evening, where the area lights up in neon glow, perfect for a beautiful photograph or two!