03 January 2011

Japan Street Food Tour Day 6 - Osaka Castle Park, Mos Burger & Tonkotsu Ramen

Day 6 on Our All You Can Eat in Osaka Trip - we hit a standup noodle bar, a sushi train, carnie snacks in Osaka Castle Park, Mos Burger and tonkotsu ramen. Our nipples explode with delight.

I've quickly developed an obsession for plain udon soup for breakfast, the perfect hangover cure. We catch a train across town to Kyobashi, a great eating destination. We find this stand-up noodle bar on the train station platform, too easy!

The noodle master at work in his tiny kitchen. As we watch him work we notice almost everything is labouriously pre-prepared and pre-portioned into plastic bags, the smart way to deal with rush hour.

Standing room only...

Soba noodles with a raw egg. shallots and nori.

Alison goes for the curry udon soup out of curiosity. It is surprisingly addictive, this is the start of an obsession with Japanese curry. It is also suprisingly messy - it should come with one of those lobster bibs!

Outside Kyobashi Station. Nothing to do with food but I love photos of folks on streets.

Mysterious brown things for sale, sadly there's no room in the tum, there's nothing I love more than brown balls of mystery.

I'm desperate for a coffee and hit Doutor, a popular coffee chain.

"Don't go to Doutor" says Alison "we went on our last trip, the coffee sucks". I go in anyway.

Indeed the coffee at Doutor sucks.

But the sweeties at Doutor look dang fine...

Alison goes shopping so I check out the video arcades. Some game setups are quite elaborate.

While others defy comment.

Pounding the pavement around Kyobashi station, it's a fun place.

Sushi sounds good. This one seems to be run by a happy gang of waving pussycats.

I love the DIY green tea here - there's hot water taps in front of every seat. I so wish this would catch on in Australia. It's a pet peeve having to pay for tea... The sushi is only 160 yen per plate, that's less than $2 Australian, and it's really, really, really good. Try getting the sushi feast below for less than $20 in Australia...

The very first thing is Octopus. So good we had another serve.

Wasabi by the bucket!

Ebi, crunchy heads intact.

Unagi, the next favourite to octopus.

Sometimes you just have to go the strange mayonaisse one.

Smoked beef, somewhat like proscuiotto. Who says it has to be all fish!

Smooshed up left over bits of tuna.

Shiny fish skin, so shiny.

Scallops. Most of the fish we couldn't name. We were too busy stuffing it in our faces. We avoided the pots of natto. There was also options to order sashimi as you liked it, but limited Japanese meant what came out of the train went into our mouths.

After lunch we head to Osaka Castle Park where bands play every Sunday, it's a great way to spend an afternoon. The bands are really slick, super rehearsed, and with all the top gear. We noticed lots of men had their big zoom cameras fixed on the pretty girl.

But it was the looser, edgier stuff we liked. Such as this guy who did a mean bicycle horn solo.

And this band blew my little mind - The Amateur. Beautifully weird, unpolished with moments of mad musical genius. I watched their whole set transfixed, mouth agape. The bass player did start out fully clothed! www.the-amateur.info/

But what's a day in the park without junk food?

Yakisoba makers.

Question: what could be possiblty better than sausage on a stick?

Answer: cheesy omlette sausage on a stick. We just had to have one. It tasted exactly how it looks.

The sausage master in action. Genius.

Every Sunday, this guy has to get up and dress in his Doreman mask and make waffles in the park. What a job.

Grape Fanta. It's healthy - it's got vitamins! Alison hardly drinks soft drink at home but loves all the flavours of foreign fizzy.

We check out this lady's melons, so to speak. The rockmelon is amazing, no wonder they pay so much for the stuff here.

After the park we jump on the train and head over to Spa World. The sign outside lays down the law.

Zombi apocalypse. Our jaws dropped in amazement when we saw the Festival Gate shopping centre in Osaka in midst of demolition. Most impressive is the torn and twisted remains of the roller coaster, it's spooky the way the track ends hanging in mid air. It gives the impression the place was closed after some horrific roller coaster accident, that's it's been vacant and haunted for years, but at night you can still hear the screams. The truth is less exciting, the place just went broke. Too much Scooby Doo...

We caught the train in the direction home and got off a stop earlier so we could walk along the back streets.

Lots of food places were just opening up.

Groovy (and grimy) old sign for Suntory Chain Bar.

Mos Burger hamburger chain is always a compulsive stop. Sometimes Mos Burger dissapoints, sometimes it elates. Today it's the latter.

There's quite a few unique items on the menu, it doesn't just copy Ronald-san.

The food comes wrapped in paper and served in little baskets.

Shawn goes a plain burger with cheese and bright orange relish.

Alison decides she doesn't want to fill up to early and has a rice burger with fried vegetables, sort of a sushi burger. It was much better than expected and could be a hit for gluten freebies!

We pretty much had the place to ourselves.

So many places to try.

At least beer only came from one place, and it was from nowhere inside the chicken.

We headed back toward the ramen joint we had spied a few days earlier.

Alison loves the pickles. Why aren't they served more often? With everything.

We both go the house special tonkotsu ramen. Milky broth, chunky roasted pork, seaweed and sprouts.

A slightly different, spicier version.

The pork was juicy, melty and chunky. The beers were downed quickly and we wrapped up the night. Only one more night to go, we cried into our drinks.


  1. Soba, udon... you kept us waiting for the ramen didn't you! And exploding nipples?! Oh my! lol....

  2. Please don't make the Japanese posts end!
    Exploding nipples. What a winner!

  3. hungry hungry hippoJanuary 4, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    I used to live in Tokyo and know Doutor well. Yes coffee was terrible, but I remember they sold wurst or at least something akin to a skinless frankfurt on a bun. Doutor is apparently a German style coffee chain, according to the Japanese. I want to say in general coffee is terrible in Japan. your choice is always between something called "american" or "blend", american being a bigger more watery coffee. "blend" was for the coffee lover although this was pretty bad too.

    In support of Japanese coffee, I must mention that single origin cafe on reservoir st surry hills, owned and run by Japanese coffee fiends, does some of Sydney's best coffee. They've just opened a joint next door to original cafe with some tricksy name I can't recall. When I saw it the other day, with all this equipment that looks like a chemistry set to "distil" coffee, it took me right back to the "gourmet" coffee thing, japanese style.

    finally, re: MOS burger. Japanese people always used to tell me that that was their favourite burger chain. seems it had more street cred with all their funky japanese burgers with rice patties instead of hamburger bun.
    Ithink i might have been a lotteria man myself, not sure exactly why.

  4. I never tried a Lotteria, must go back...

  5. Good lord. This is almost the exact replica of the day my friend and I spent in Osaka Castle. I even ate the omelet sausage on a stick (which wasn't so bad...).

    We watched a cute jazz band nestled in between the trees in the park, before finishing up across the road at the ever-pleasing Mos Burger.

    And Doutor...ugh!

  6. MOS Burger is excellent - beats the absolute living heck out of McDonalds, Lotteria and pretty much any other fast-food place bar Freshness Burger. I'm a huge fan of their rice burgers and try to average one a day whenever I'm back in Tokyo. Thanks for the photos and the memories!

  7. oh that ramen looks delicious! That pork looks like it will melt in your mouth!

  8. We went to Freshness Burger in Tokyo and I remember they had a healthy liking for mayonnaise on the burger. Lotteria is on our must do list for any place we see it next time.

  9. Adrian, I think there's a case for most travellers to get stuck in a weird groundhog day with other travellers! If sights are good, you gotta go.

  10. I LOVE your blog, bonus points for making it a much welcome ad-free zone.
    This all makes me sooo hungry, please keep up the good work!


Thanks for your comment joy - please keep your musings happy - if you want to complain about a restaurant please do it on a restaurant review site (or your own blog) - we're all about celebrating cultural diversity and the great eats that come along with it :-)

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