When we were in Osaka, we wanted to eat some of the locally popular okonomiyaki, which are thick, savoury cabbage “pancakes”, filled with meats or seafood, and drizzled with a sweet sauce and mayonnaise. Following our Frommer’s “Japan Day by Day” book, we went looking for a restaurant called Takonotetsu.
Let me just say, that while our guide book is certainly beautiful to look at, with great photos, glossy pages, and fairly decent write-ups, the maps suck. Seriously, they suck. It was really difficult to determine where exactly the dot on the map was supposed to be in real life. There are very few street names on the map, and even if there are some, we couldn’t always find them on the streets. So, we went walking where we thought we would find this restaurant, and walking… and walking…. We finally found someone who had a cell phone and could help us find this place! Once again, people were so helpful! This guy actually went out of his way for at least 10 minutes to walk us to the restaurant.
Yes, that’s right. It took 10 minutes, because that’s how bad the maps are in our book. Argh! So, we get into the building, go downstairs, and the first thing we saw was a little taste of home, in a weird way:
Then a few more paces and our helpful guide informed us that we had a arrived. The restaurant he had brought us to was named, “Pizza Ball House.” Um, ok, thanks. Remember, we were looking for “Takonotetsu”. Our guide left, and JP and I decided we would try it since we didn’t feel like walking anymore, and besides, it looked like they served the same kind of food. Turns out, we were at the right place, but the name Takonotetsu is only written out in English on the menus. The food was really yummy, but we should have tried the okonomiyaki, too, because we didn’t really get a chance to after that – that’s what the ball shapes are for on the griddle. They are balls made from octopus, ginger and scallions, with a special sauce.
As we were walking to our hotel, through the train station, we came across a humungous underground marketplace. It was insane! I couldn’t get over the range of food and the amount of money people would lay down for confections! People were lined up out the door for chocolate covered rusks (and they weren’t cheap!!). There were cute character cakes,
really pricey gift boxes (this one is over $300!!),
and fill-your-own sushi trays, with individually wrapped sushi pieces!
This place blew my mind, and we knew we would return the next day to get food for our train ride to Kobe!
There is still more…
To be continued!