In Osaka, Japan, the reggae music fills my ears while a Volkswagen van sits in plain view in the middle of the room. It’s a contrast to my senses as me and my traveling companions share Kirin draft beer and Kushikatsu (skewers) of deep fried goodies at Oyaji no Kushiya Shinsekai Main Store.
Location: 2-4-14 Ebisu higashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka, Japan
Menu: What exactly is Kushikatsu? According to Wiki ” Kushikatsu, also known as kushiage, is a Japanese dish of deep-fried skewered meat and vegetables. In Japanese, kushi refers to the skewers used while katsu means a deep-fried cutlet of meat.” I like to think of it as deep-fried tapas on a stick. You can order from the English menu a la carte by the single skewer, but there are also a few set samplers to choose from. Both provide a great way to try an assortment of seafood, meat, and vegetables — it all goes on a stick, gets covered with batter, rolled in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried crisp in a blend of vegetable and beef tallow oil.
Extremely healthy eaters might feel a bit apprehensive about Oyaji no Kushiya since the majority of the menu is battered and deep-fried. If you are feeling guilty about everything fried, you might feel better to know that all ingredients are organic, fresh, and locally sourced. They’ve been around for 70 years old, so they’ve perfected their technique.
Placed on each table is a bowl with a soy sauce based dipping sauce (this sauce has a patent) and a complimentary dish of all-you-can-eat fresh cabbage. The cabbage is to cleanse the palette and ease the digestion of all the greasy food, between bites.
Proper etiquette, according to our Japanese guide is don’t double dip and don’t drip the sauce across the table. If you do need more sauce, use a fresh cabbage leaf as a scoop to get more sauce.
Once you have finished your skewer, place it in the bamboo receptacle on the table.
It’s easy to get carried away and order too many dishes — a classic case of your eyes being bigger than your stomach. I suggest you order 4 or 5 selections each to start — you can always order more.
Thoughts: Oyaji no Kushiya Shinsekai Main Store is a very casual restaurant bar open 24 hours a day for late night snacks and drinks after you tour the busy Shinsekai area of Osaka. It’s great when you are with friends and very tourist friendly with English menus.
Oyaji no Kushiya Shinsekai Main Store is also family friendly if you visit earlier in the day and I think the kids will get a kick of dining inside the Volkswagen van (reservations may be necessary).
A few favorites to try: If you are visiting with a crowd, then I suggest the Kushikatsu Set Menu, the large set menu (¥2,980) contains 27 skewers, enough for a group of 3 to 4 people to share and the medium set menu (¥1,980) contains 18 skewers for a group of 2 to 3 people to share. Both set menus contain beef, pork, whiting, squid, quail egg, okra, eggplant, and onion.
There are also smaller sets for one:
- Kushikatsu (beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, lotus root) ¥879
- Seafood (scallop, octopus, sardine, smelt, shrimp) ¥979
- Vegetables (asparagus, shitake mushroom, shishito pepper, eggplant, white leek) ¥679
If you are adventurous order a bowl of Dote Yaki (¥389) – beef sinew stewed in sweet miso. It’s addictive and a bit chewy!
Oyaji no Kushiya Shinsekai Main Store is a must try when visiting Osaka, Japan. The atmosphere is unique, the food is tasty, and the beer is cold.
Price: A la cart skewers start as low as ¥90 per skewer. A glass of Kirin Ichibanshibori Draft Beer is ¥300
Pinterest: File this Japanese snack Bar on your favorite Pinterest board.
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