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Asaka – Food Envy

Asaka – Food Envy

It’s 30mins from Kyoto to Osaka on a rapid train service, and they come every 10-15mins maybe so we trekked off around 9am. Uber has made it to Japan, and we’ve been booking a few bigger vans to get around, ie to the train station, with our bags (ps the bag forwarding service is amazing and we’ve used it throughout our trip).

Our trip to Osaka revolves around two things; 1) food and 2) universal studios. Today is all about food.

Once we arrive at Osaka and navigate the underground, we surface to discover that Osaka, well where we are staying anyway, is a bit more NY to Tokyo. A bit grungier I guess with restaurants and shops everywhere.

We’ve booked the Fraser Suites and a two bed apartment. Very central location, close to the station, and the apartment is large. It’s western, so it’s not as cool as our Kyoto abode, but has enough room for us all to chill.

Usual scenario we are early to check in so we head off for lunch and we managed to find one of the top restaurants in Osaka, which happens to do gluten friendly options. Google maps is a godsend. Main issue is, you can’t book, and it’s popular.

Hard to explain the food. I guessed it was basically omelette corn fitters. Link to restaurant is here:

Chibo Okonomiyaki Restaurant
+81 6-6212-2211
https://maps.app.goo.gl/nnjvhrSC8vrcvWWu9?g_st=ic

For anyone wanting to go, go early! That’s probably a theme for nearly everything in Japan given how popular good things are and how many people there are. There is a queue out the door to this restaurant, which reminded me a bit of Disneyland, and we were thrilled, um not thrilled, to see nearly 50 students from a school walk up and into the upstairs doors just 10 mins after we joined the queue. This place apparently has multiple floors apparently, but seeing a school go in certainly didn’t help our wait time!

Crispy Gyozas were unbelievable!

One of the best lunches, and given the line, one of the weirdest things was ordering whilst we queued. It was fine, because it meant when we sat down we had beer and wine in hand 🙂 We are getting good at queues.

Post lunch we have booked into a gluten free cooking course which is just across town. Our host, owns a local gluten free cafe, and lucky for us, does custom cooking classes. We found her on instagram here: https://instagram.com/yukikos_glutenfree_lab?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

For anyone that doesn’t use instagram here is her profile page … she is a baker, but we asked for help with sushi, Terryaki, Mochi and Karaage Chicken for our course today.

Yukiko apologised ahead of time and said she would need to bring her young son. It was an absolute treat to have her, and her 8 month old son, teaching us together. She has a purpose built small apartment kitchen, and it was absolutely the best experience of the trip so far. Simple, authentic, tasty and inspiring.

What did we learn?

– sushi needs to be made and eaten fresh. The rice has to be rolled at room temp, can’t be hot and can’t be cold. Use water to spread and it will thicken and stick.

– Terryaki was interesting. Pierce holes in chicken before browning, then add sauce. Also you tend to not be able to buy Terryaki chicken in most Japanese restaurants because it’s a home cooked meal

– Karaage chicken, you fry, but remove before it darkens. Then let rest, then re fry. We served it with cabbage and it was finger licking good. Ha.

I found a wine store that we walked past on the way to the cooking class, so picked up a couple of vinos, loosened the belt, hit the couch and settled in because tomorrow is going to be epic at Universal Studios.

Oh and on our strolls I couldn’t help but witness some weird quirky Japanese art and theming.