Sunday, February 24, 2013

Osaka: Day 5 (February 24, 2013)

Last night before we went to bed, Calvin and I decided to make today a lazy day. What I originally had planned for today was for us to see Osaka Castle and to go to Den-Den Town, which is Osaka's version of Tokyo's Akihabara. We agreed to skip Osaka Castle and just go to Den-Den town, maybe walk down Ebisubashi-suji again. 

After a late start to the day, we headed out to Den-Den Town. Turned out to be a big disappointment. Basically, the majority of the electronic stores ran along one of the major streets so all the walking traffic is restricted to the small sidewalk. So it was pretty squishy, especially with Jacob's stroller. And once you turn into one of the side streets, it's entirely dead. Maybe we didn't walk down further enough to see better stores, but I definitely enjoyed walking around Akihabara much better.

For lunch, we were trying to locate this ramen place as per Calvin's brother's recommendation, but of course we weren't able to find it. Or rather, we didn't make that much of an effort to scour the area for this place. Instead, we decided to eat at yet another udon restaurant. This place was a little different to the one we ate at last night though, but similar to one we've eaten before in Hawaii where you can choose from several tempura'd items to have with your udon, then choose the type of udon soup you would like. With Japanese curry still on my mind, I went for the curry udon.

The curry was average, nothing different about it. I imagined the curry "soup" to be thinner though, like actual soup, not like the Japanese curry you make from buying those pasty-type blocks. There were actually bits of beef, carrots, and potato in my curry, so that was good. I also had chosen the fried vegetable/onion tempura mix and a prawn tempura - both delicious additions to my udon.

Calvin ordered the udon with beef, which he enjoyed, I think. Well, he thought the broth was really good anyway.

After lunch, we walked back to Namba Parks (yet another shopping mall near our hotel), and had a Starbucks drink. I asked for a special Osaka gift card, which I want to add to my Passbook, but apparently my Passbook only works with Canadian and American Starbucks cards :P Hopefully I can figure something out to remedy this situation.

Once we were done walking around a little bit, we headed back to our hotel room to see if we could feed Jacob as he was being a fussy eater today. He's been really good with his bottle feedings while we've been on the trip, but hasn't been a fan of his solid food. He seems to be more interested in the food that we eat. Maybe Calvin and I should start eating more healthy so that I won't have to worry about sharing my food with Jacob. That can wait until we get back from holidays though ;)

For dinner, we decided to eat okonomiyaki - one of my favourite Japanese foods to eat. We chose this place called Fugetsu, which is a chain of okonomiyaki restaurants in Japan. The location we went to (they have a few in Osaka) was actually across from the crab restaurant we ate at the other night, Dotombori Imaihonten.

I chose to get the okonomiyaki with beef and Calvin chose the modanyaki with beef (basically okonomiyaki with noodles as well as cabbage). For those of you who've never had okonomiyaki before, it's pretty much like a pancake only with cabbage and whatever meat/ingredients of your choosing. The cabbage and other ingredients are mixed with a little batter and then cooked on a grill. Then it's topped off with some Japanese mayo and okonomiyaki sauce (a sweet, brown sauce). At Fugetsu, the okonomiyaki is cooked right at your table by one of the staff.

My okonomiyaki and Calvin's modanyaki (in the front).
I think this is by far one of the best okonomiyaki I've had before. There wasn't much batter so it wasn't doughy and the way it was cooked, the cabbage was cooked long enough to soften, but not get too soggy and the outside was nice and crispy. Plus, there were little pickled bits in it that gave it some tangy flavour. When it was time to add the mayo and okonomiyaki sauce, the staff member just smothered it on, so that also helped in the yummy factor.

I was talking to Calvin about how izakaya places and now ramen places have become super popular in Vancouver. Maybe specialized okonomiyaki restaurants like Fugetsu will be the next thing to become popular in Vancouver. I can only dream, right? LOL

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