|From Goth Goes Otaku 2 Dotonburi and Shinsaibashi|
I love Japan, but I love Osaka most of all. It has a laid back ecclectic informal feel that is lacking elsewhere in Japan and they know how to eat and drink with the best of them. World famous is the district of Dotonbori, a sort of foodies paradise on Earth where restaurants are piled on top of cafes on top of bars, with thousands of youngsters and tourists wandering around drinking and smoking on the ground floor. It is unsurprisingly one of my favourite parts of the world.
We were staying just around the corner from the Dotonbori high street and so there were a few food adventures (though sadly we weren't in Osaka long enough to really pig out). Of course I had to stop in at a ramen restaurant while in Osaka, while the Kinryu Ramen stands are probably the most famous in the area they're definitely a bit dodgy looking and without any form of written menu around it seemed like our Japanese would have been stretched to the limit anyway. Instead we stopped at Shitenno Ramen, and I'm glad we did, it was so good we came back the next day.
Inside is a rather informal affair, you can sit at a bench and watch the ramen cook make his fare or you can sit at small tables. Either way it's stools, disposable chopsticks and plastic crockery all the way. Regardless is so damn good they have a large wall of famous signatures and you can't have a street level restaurant on Dotonbori without having some serious turn over.
|From Goth Goes Otaku 2 Amerika Mura|
The great thing about informal restaurants in Japan is that they tend to have a ticketing system. Rather than wait inside for your food you punch in your order from a machine at the door, on entry the waiter takes your tickets and swiftly brings your food out.
This is perfect for a bunch of stumbling gaijin in Japan since this means a) There's a picture menu and b) You don't have to speak woefully bad Japanese to the waiters, they read your tickets, smile and nod at you and you look thankful that food comes out with the most minor of quests.
Kim Chi 100 Yen
Even cheap 100 Yen kim chi in Japan is good, it's fresh and tangy without being overpowering and has a fresh crunch.
Gyoza 300 Yen
The gyoza are good but not excellent to be honest, the filling is mostly pork with few vegetables and the skin has been over cooked. Still you can't get between the boy and his dumplings, they disappeared in a flash.
Spicey Shitenno Ramen with roasted pork 850 Yen
Unfortunately for me I'm really spoilt on the quality of the noodles in Sydney and these are egg noodles that are a little too chewy on first attempt for me but after a while the noodles soften and it grows on me and the pork is so good its moan inducing. Later I would see the cook preparing it with hefty amounts of oil and fat and try not to think about it because it tastes that good. Sadly the chilli flakes are not as hot as I would like but they're still enough to clear my sinuses so I'm probably just being whiney; the soup stock used here is excellent and is scattered lightly with seasame.
Roasted pork miso ramen 650 Yen - with egg 750 Yen
The pork stock is very good and appears to be made from real bones, the vegetables are crisp and the egg soft enough to take on the soup. Additionally the eggs here appear to be good quality free range eggs that are the right colour.
Definitely worth a stop in for lunch (or brunch as this was) especially for the price and the ease of order.
Ramen Noodle Shop Shitenno
住所 大阪府大阪市中央区道頓堀 1-7-25
Shitenno is near the Family Mart on the main drag of Dotonbori, turn right if approaching from Namba
Open 7 days a week 10am - 4am
Walk in no reservations required
Limited drinks menu, they do not mind bringing drinks from the vending machine or convenience store next door including alcohol