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January 7, 2015updated Dec 20, 2023

The 5 Best Restaurants In Osaka

By Neharika Padala

Osaka has an excellent reputation for its food, with an emphasis on good value.

It is famous for its simple okonomiyaki savoury pancakes, cooked in front of you on a steel grill, but it has plenty of more sophisticated restaurants too.

KASHIWAYA

One of a quartet of three Michelin star restaurants in Osaka, Kashiwaya serves a classical kaiseki menu.

Its chef, Hedeaki Matsuo, studied theoretical physics at university, but now puts his mind to creating thoughtful menus that match the best seasonal ingredients of the area.

A meal here will take you through a range of food styles, from soup to sashimi, from sazizuke (appetiser) to sunomono (vinegared dish). Expect to dine in a discreet private room with a view on to a little garden.

FUJIYA

Image credit: Andy Hayler

Three star Michelin restaurant Fujiya 1935 serves modern fusion food, the chef having worked in Spain and elsewhere before opening this restaurant.

The full range of modern culinary trickery is brought to bear in dishes like pea puree in sponge bread, or kumquat with coconut with thyme ice cream.

The high quality of ingredients can be seen in sweet, tender prawn wrapped in kadaif pastry and served with mildly spiced curry oil. In less skilful hands such cooking can seem gimmicky, but here the dishes retain balance, and are intriguing rather than challenging to eat.

TAIAN

taian

Image credit: Andy Hayler

Taian serves a somewhat more modern version of Japanese food than is typically found in the more traditional kaiseki restaurants of Kyoto, though its three Michelin stars testify that its standards are just as high.

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In a relaxed atmosphere with its open kitchen, chefs prepare the usual range of dishes to be found in this cuisine. Your meal might include sashimi of snapper with freshly grated wasabi root or delicate fish tempura.

The emphasis on top-notch ingredients was apparent in a main course of stunning Matsusaka beef (costlier than the more famous Kobe beef) with plum sauce.

KORYU

Image credit: Andy Hayler

Image credit: Andy Hayler

Koryu is a three star Michelin restaurant serving modern Japanese cuisine.

As ever in high end restaurants in Japan, the emphasis is on ultra seasonal, high quality ingredients. These are often prepared simply in order to showcase their quality, such as a dazzling grilled local mushroom with fabulous flavour, or a remarkable razor clam with terrific texture.

You may encounter blackthroat sea perch with delicate fish skin and superb potatoes.

HAJIME

Hajime produces high-class French food with a slight Japanese twist, taking advantage of the peerless ingredients to be found in this country.

A nod to a famous dish at Michel Bras in Laguoile is a vegetable dish featuring dozens of herbs, flowers and leaves, prepared in a range of ways.

A dish of lamb with yoghurt and sorrel sauce demonstrates the high class cooking here. Service is superb, welcoming and attentive.

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