Ganso Kushikatsu Daruma Shinsekai Sohonten

Kushikatsu (Japanese deep-fried skewers) was one of the things I wanted to eat while on this trip so it was perfect to try it while we visited Shinsekai for the evening. The majority of restaurants there offered kushikatsu, but one of the restaurants that seemed to be most popular was Ganso Kushikatsu Daruma — the one with the angry man mascot! So, the 6 of us went in.

They have a wide selection of kushikatsu ranging from meat items to veggies, and even seafood. They also have sets available so you can try a lot of different things. But since we had just finished our meal at Okonomiyaki Chitose, we were so full and just wanted some snacks so we each ordered a few skewers for ourselves. I tried the classic beef kushikatsu, lotus root, okra, and shitake mushroom. Although we ordered separately, they served us the skewers all together in one rack… We didn’t know which was which so we had to ask them to tell us what they were so we could pick out the ones we wanted.

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After some rearranging, we were finally able to start eating. First, theres some rules you have to know about eating kushikatsu. The dipping sauce is communal so you MUST NOT double dip! If you didn’t get a good dip the first time and realize you need more sauce, what you can do is use the cabbage provided to spoon the sauce onto your kushikatsu. However, I saw on the menu that if you order less than 8(?) skewers per person or don’t spend a certain amount of money, they will charge you for the cabbage — at a cost of ¥300 per person! I thought that was pretty ridiculous. We clearly did not spend the minimum amount so we didn’t use the cabbage for fear of being charged…lol. Thankfully they didn’t charge us extra when we got the bill.

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Lotus root, okra, classic beef kushikatsu, shitake mushroom

Anyways, kushikatsu was fun to dip and eat. They were golden-brown and crispy, but not overdone. The sauce was salty, slightly sweet and sour, but had a thicker consistency than soy sauce. I’m not exactly sure what was in it but it was good! I probably wouldn’t go here for a full meal since it’s all deep-fried food but I did enjoy the experience and glad I got to snack on these. Oh, and I only spent around ¥600 here so that was cheap 🙂

Address: 2-3-9 Ebisuhigashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka 556-0002, Osaka Prefecture
Landmarks: Near Tsutenkaku Tower at Shinsekai, look for angry man!

Okonomiyaki Chitose

We had decided that instead of going for okonomiyaki at one of the many restaurants in Dotonbori, we would check out Okonomiyaki Chitose instead, which had many glowing reviews online.

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Okonomiyaki Chitose

The place is a bit out of way — it’s south of Shinsekai and in an alley of a residential area so it wasn’t very obvious. It was a pretty small family-run restaurant. There were only 2 tables that could seat 4-5 and a few seats at the bar but luckily, we were able to get a table without waiting too long. It would’ve been cool to sit at the bar to watch the chef cook and prepare our food but there weren’t enough seats for all of us.

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English Menu available

We knew okonomiyaki would be very filling but their menu stated that it’s one order per person so we ordered 4 different types of okonomiyaki for the four of us. The table had a heated surface so it kept our food nice and hot and they provided us with metal spatulas for eating. To be honest, all of our orders pretty much tasted the same because they just used the same sauces. The only thing that really differed between the types was the texture.

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1 yakisoba, 2 okonomiyaki, 1 takasuga yaki

One of our orders was the house special, Takasuga Yaki (¥950), which contains rice cakes, fried noodles, pork, and shrimp. It was extremely flavourful and our favourite one due to the unique texture of the melted rice cakes. It was kind of gooey like cheese but still had a crisp outside.

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Takasuga Yaki (¥950)

We ordered the Yakisoba with Squid (¥750) as well but it was too salty. I think the chef put too much soy sauce so it was overpowering, making it not very pleasing to eat.. but good thing we all shared! The other two we ordered were just regular okonomiyaki with different toppings. They were good but tasted similar to each other.

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Cold Sake (¥500)

We were so full afterwards. I think we would’ve enjoyed it more had we not been so full. Nevertheless, it was really tasty okonomiyaki and the takasuga yaki was the best okonomiyaki I’ve had! The cold Japanese sake (¥500) I ordered went really nicely with the meal as well. Overall, I think Okonomiyaki Chitose is worth the trip if you’re looking for authentic Osaka-style okonomiyaki and you don’t mind the limited space.

Address: 1-11-10 Taishi, Nishinari-ku, Osaka 557-0002, Osaka Prefecture


Tasty Gyoza at Osaka Ohsho

Osaka Ohsho is the main place people go to for gyoza in Dotonbori and the name literally translates to The King of Gyoza in Osaka”. You can find it by looking for the huge gyoza sign — you can’t miss it!

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Osaka Ohsho sign

It’s actually a restaurant on the upper levels but I think most people just eat at the standing gyoza bar on the 1st floor or get take-out. Interestingly, if you order take-out, it’s more expensive (¥260) compared to eating in (¥240) because they provide you with a box. If you want to eat in, there are only 3 small tables available with some stools and the ambience leaves a lot to be desired. 

They do have gyoza sauce and hot sauce but we didn’t try the hot sauce since it wasn’t covered and had just been sitting there for who knows how long… We didn’t expect much as we just wanted to get gyoza for the sake of it but we were lucky that there was a vacant table for DC and I. So we went in and surprisingly, it was really good! 

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6pc. Gyoza (¥240)

The wrapper was thin, really crispy on one side, and the filling had meat and veggies. The gyoza sauce had a good balance of saltiness and acidity and complemented the gyoza perfectly. Yum!! Just thinking about this makes me drool… Best gyoza I’ve had!

The problem with going to Osaka is that you’re always full because there’s so much food to eat… But I suggest that no matter how full you are, try this!! Share it amongst yourselves if you’re really full as 1 order is only 6 pieces. We tried to go back again for some late night snacks but unfortunately, they were already closed (past midnight). It was disappointing to not get another order of these delicious gyoza but I’m glad we were at least able to get a taste. 🙂

Address: 1-6-13 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Landmarks: big gyoza sign along Dotonbori Street

5 Tastes Chinese Bistro

5 Tastes Chinese Bistro is located at UBC’s University Village. Since it was a Sunday, everything else was closed and my friend and I ended up going here for dinner after studying for our final exams. We wanted to have a nice meal and unwind after a long day but instead, we left feeling bitter about the whole dining experience.

When we arrived, one of the servers said something to us in Chinese but we didn’t understand so she just seated us at a table. When we opened the menu, we saw that they were all big dishes for family-style sharing… which we weren’t there for (obviously, it was just the 2 of us). My friend had been here once previously and had a smaller, individual meal so we were waiting to ask one of the people working there if they had a separate menu for that.

Everyone seemed so frazzled, running around looking like they were so busy but in fact, the restaurant wasn’t even half full. Several servers passed us by, including the manager who repeatedly yammered at us to “wait one moment”. Finally, he came over to our table and we asked if they had individual meals. He exclaimed that we have to sit at the other section so we had to switch tables at the other side. Turns out they do have another menu. They had some small dishes and snacks and if you want noodle soup, it’s kind of like Deer Garden where you choose the soup base, the type of noodles, and toppings to add.


Fish soup

I opted for a fish soup base since it was one of their popular options and I remember having good fish soup at other restaurants. Unfortunately, that was probably a mistake (although I don’t know if the other choices would’ve been any better). The fish soup was too fishy for me — OK, I know it’s fish but it shouldn’t have been that fishy. The beef slices I got were tough too and seemed like leftover pieces of meat.


Hot & Sour soup

My friend got the hot & sour soup base and she said it was too salty.

So the food wasn’t great, but it was edible. What disgusted us the most was the service. My friend heard the group before us asking to split their bill when they went up to pay and apparently the manager yelled, saying that they’re too busy to do that! That should be the default when you see a bunch of friends eating together. So when it was our turn to pay, we also asked to split the bill. We wouldn’t have bothered if one of us had enough change but sure enough, the manager was extremely rude and disrespectful to us too. He had the nerve to roll his eyes and scoff at us! Then, when I wanted to pay by credit card, he picked up and slammed this tiny sign on the counter that says there’s a minimum of $25 when paying by credit. He could’ve just told me nicely… 😡

Never before have I encountered such blatant disregard for customers. After our meal, I checked the reviews on Yelp and of course, they were all bad reviews! Check them out for more laughs. This was my first time here and I am never going back. I don’t think the owners even care that they’re losing customers due to their atrocious service. Thanks but no thanks for adding unnecessary stress on top of studying for finals.

Food – 5/10
Service – 1/10
Ambience – 6/10
Value – not even worth it

Miku Restaurant

The sisters and I wanted to treat ourselves to a nice lunch so we paid a visit to one of my personal favourite restaurants, Miku! I’m writing an updated review since my previous one was from almost 3 years ago. To be honest, not too much has changed, which is a good thing. The food is still very delicious and prepared beautifully. If you haven’t been to Miku yet, you’re missing out!

As soon as the 4 of us walked in, we were greeted and shown to our table right by the window where we had a lovely view of the waterfront. They even provided us with bottles of still and sparkling water for the table. Our server was very friendly and offered us good recommendations on what to order. Everything on the menu sounded yummy.

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Oysters on the Half Shell (MP; $24)

We had planned for oysters so we tried their Oysters on the Half Shell. These are their daily oysters so they vary from time to time and are priced at market price (MP). The ones we got were from the East Coast and were $24. You get 6 oysters with 3 different sauces on the side: wasabi chimichurri, lime leaf mignonette, and ginger cocktail sauce. The wasabi chimichurri (green one) was one of the more unique sauces that I’ve tried. We weren’t expecting them to be so small for their price, but they were very fresh and delicious with the sauces. I also wasn’t worried about getting sick from eating these raw oysters since they’re from a restaurant that I trust.

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Compliments of the manager

We were then served with some complimentary samplers. It was some sort of creamy vegetable(?) puree with crab meat and tobiko. It was a nice addition to our meal and they were presented so nicely!

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Kyoto Saikyo Miso Baked Sablefish ($27)

DC tried the Kyoto Saikyo Miso Baked Sablefish ($27) for her entree. It was served with brown rice, some veggies, and a yuzu-miso sauce. I tried a bit of her fish. It was very tender and had a nice buttery, miso taste that wasn’t too rich. We’ve had lots of sablefish before so DC doesn’t think it was the best she’s had, but it’s up there.

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Salmon Oshi ($17); 1/2 Ebi Oshi ($8.25); 1/2 Saba Oshi ($8)

Miku is known for their aburi oshi sushi, which is box-shaped sushi that’s been lightly flame-seared. I order this every time I go here– it’s simply amazing. They have 3 kinds: the Salmon Oshi Sushi ($17), Ebi Oshi Sushi ($16.50), and Saba Oshi Sushi ($16). We ordered one full order of the salmon (6pc) and half of the ebi and saba (3pc each). I remember liking the ebi the best before but this time, the salmon was the clear winner with its delicious special sauce and jalapeño on top. All of them were delicious though. And don’t they just look so sumptuous? 🙂 This is a must try if you ever visit Miku!

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Miku Zen ($28)

Next up, MC ordered the Miku Zen ($28) which is kind of like a bento box style lunch. It comes with 4 dishes chosen by the chefs along with 5 pieces of sushi and miso soup. This is actually well worth the price and it’s something I would order for myself next time! The dishes today were a poké salad, chicken with goma-ae, ebi fritter, and beef shank with mashed potatoes. All of these were delicious but I think the one that stood out for us was the poké salad. The dressing was perfect with the fresh poké. It wasn’t fishy at all! The sushi plate came with 2 pieces of salmon oshi sushi, 1 piece of a sushi roll, and 2 pieces of nigiri sushi. MC said everything was really yummy.

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Sakura Roll ($19)

Because it’s cherry blossom season, they had a separate Sakura Feature menu that’s available until April 14. CC and I ended up ordering the Sakura Roll ($19), which is on this special menu. These were so pretty! It was scallop, asparagus, and sockeye salmon wrapped with hamachi then topped with shiso leaf, golden tobiko, pickled wasabi, and a salted sakura flower. Again, this was well worth it. It was a very interesting roll and there was a good balance of flavours as well as textures. The saltiness of the sakura flower complemented the acidity of the pickled wasabi and the umami of the fish. The asparagus gave a nice, contrasting crunch as well. I thought it was a really well done and creative roll and I’m glad we were able to try it.

Dining at Miku was definitely a treat and a great way to start off the week with my sisters. All of the food was delicious and served promptly. Our only concern was that after eating the mussels, we had the empty shells on our plates but the server just picked them off without changing our plates. We thought that was a little bit strange and perhaps it would be better to provide a separate bowl or plate for the shells next time. Otherwise, everything else was superb and I would definitely go back for more. The aburi oshi sushi is a must and the Miku Zen is a good choice for lunch.

Food – 9.5/10
Service – 9/10
Ambience – 10/10
Value – 7/10

Miku Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato