18 February 2011
Japan Street Food Tour Day 8 ~ Sayonara Osaka
There's noodles, tonkatsu and tears on our last day, and we discover the secret to eating well at Osaka airport.
It's our last day in Osaka and our last chance to get in some old lady noodle action. After our night at Nomen bar down the road it's only fitting to get some restorative broth into our system, fast.
Soba with beef - lovely pre-portioned shredded beef on top of buckwheat noodles.
Shawn keeps his noodle fix simple, and adds a piece of pre cooked fish.
There are also loads of tempting 'travellers' we could take away, but we knew the day had more food treats in store.
After visiting our favourite noodle bar, it was only fitting to have a fix at our favourite coffee bar, Choco Cro. The egg and bacon pastry for only a 150yen would be missed.
On our way through to Umeda station we pass an orderly queue waiting to receive a free yoghurt sample. You had to be shown how to use the vending machine before you got the freebie. Must have been a good deal as the queue was long, polite and patient. Or is that just something very Japanese?
Undergroundo at Umeda station, there's still plenty of places to get food.
There's still a thirst, so we decide to fight off scurvy and get some fruit and vegetables into our system. The drinks were partially blended and waiting for the final touch.
The choices were limited, but given how expensive fruit can be to buy in Japan, the prices were reasonable.
Mango and pineapple fruits shake.
No matter where we travel outside of Australia, there's always an Aussie Bar, somewhere. The beer choices were decidely un-Australian.
After spending considerable time in Tower Records and stocking up on obscure J-Pop we duck into a tiny food place after the owner pops her head out and invites us in. How could we resist?
As soon as we got in the place emptied out. Was it us, or our timing? Most Japanese eat and run, there's not a lot of lingering over lunch.
This place under the train line was a very typical small eatery, run by two women who cooked, cleaned and poured the sake.
There were a few choices to be had, even in a tiny place like this.
We both go the house special, pork tonkatsu with mustard, a small salad on the side, steaming rice and a miso soup.
On our way out we see this poster for a cabaret would be right at home in our home town. Are these drag kings and queens? Richard Gere looked nothing like that in the movie.
As Alison goes off shopping in the vain hope of finding something that might fit, Shawn joins the legion of old men in a coffee bar, forced to drink coffee and eat cake.
Coffee is served in the prettiest tea cup in all of Japan.
A little sweetie to have with the coffee, soft icing 'noodles' over a small cream tart.
The day and our moods darken as we realise our time is ending in Osaka.
On the train to the airport there are still wonderful hints at the quirky side of Japan we adore.
At the airport we need to get one last meal in before we board the plane home. Osaka airport is in two halves - before the train to the terminals and after. If you want to eat before your flight, the best place is to head downstairs to the domestic departures area and the food court there. The selections are far better and cheaper than the restaurants in international departures and especially once past customs.
We head to the foodcourt and order from many different stalls. A piece of cooked fish with soy, a typical izakaya snack and one we wish we could find more often at home.
Lotus root and fish tube with sesame.
Lightly stewed greens with shredded tofu.
Vibrant purple eggplant, grilled with miso and soy.
Side of miso soup.
Next round we try this cheese topped omelette stuffed with rice and covered in brown sauce, great pre plane filler.
Why order the food package on the plane when you can have this?
Sweet potato, boiled and barely dressed. It didn't need anything but it's own sweetness.
Fresh sliced okra, held together by it sinewy own juices. The fat white seeds popped and crunched and made a great beer snack.
A big cheers to all the adventures we had in only a week. They won't be the last...