Kushi-age, also known as Kushikatsu, is one of the most under-rated Japanese food items. These bite-sized chunks of deep-fried battered meats and vegetables are absolutely delightful and make a perfect accompaniment to a round of drinks with friends. Originating in the Shinsekai region of Osaka, over the years they have become popular all over Japan, and each region has their own unique twist to the dish. However, Osaka continues to be at the top of the list, as far as great places to eat Kushi-age goes. Head on towards the Dotonbori Bridge area in Osaka, one of the top tourist spots in the region, and you will find a large number of Kushi-age vendors all around you. Many of them are street side carts, with a few tables and chairs in front, while some are slightly bigger places with sitting space inside.
In any case, the number of great places which serve these deep fried morsels in Osaka are far too many to list down on a single page. But, we have done our best to highlight our top 5 favourite places to eat Kushikatsu in Osaka. Don’t forget to check out these amazing places, the next time you are in Osaka.
Kushikatsu Daruma is one of the most iconic restaurants in Shinsekai, Osaka’s most popular spots for visitors and locals both. Actually, it is a chain of restaurants, and there are over 10 restuarants in Osaka itself. They serve more than 40 different varieties of kushikatsu, and you can either order the Kushikatsu a-la-carte or as per a set meal. They have a number of different set meal options, so you can choose whichever one you fancy the most. Since they are cooked right in front of your eyes, in the middle of the restaurant, you can always be assured that you are eating perfectly freshly cooked food. I loved the platter here, which contains a mix of chicken, beef, quail eggs, shrimp, hot dog, and mixed vegetables. My personal favourite here is the quail eggs and the shrimp kushikatsu. I loved it with along with a can of Sopporo Beer.
One of the popular restaurants in Osaka, this tiny eatery was designed as a place where friends could come together at the end of the day for drinks and to enjoy tasty deep fried skewers. The owners believe that food should not only taste good, but should also be visually appealing.
All their Kushi-age skewers are prepared from the best seasonal ingredients, including the choicest vegetables. They are so serious about their attention to detail, that they re-grate their bread crumbs to make them even finer, so that they absorb less oil when deep-fried. They also keep their batter crispy by only mixing the together the finest breadcrumbs with flour, egg yolks, meringue, mineral water, and beer. This gives their kushi-age skewers a significantly crispier taste. Wasabi serves some really unique kushi-age items that blend the Eastern and Western flavours, to create a unique taste of its own. Some of the recommended items include firefly squid with miso sauce and Vietnamese style shrimp.
Located in the basement of an office building, Unzen Shuns is a great place to enjoy Kushi-age in Osaka. Having been around for almost 80 years, they have a wide choice of fried Kushi-age items, including whole asparagus, quail eggs, octopus and lotus root. When you sit down at the counter for a meal, they serve you a number of sauces to dip your kushi-age skewers in. They pride on their unique cooking methods, which keep the food tasty and retain the original flavours of the food. And the best part? Although you are indulging in fried food, you can be assured that the food is nutritional. They also have an English menu available. If you have trouble choosing what to eat, the hostesses will also help you choose the best skewers on the menu.
Name : Shun’s
Address : Eatparadise 10F LUCUA1100, 3-1-3 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka-City, Osaka
Business hour:11:00～14:30（lunch time）,14:30～22:00（dinner time）
Phone number: +81-6-6485-7800
Kushiya Monogatari is one of the best kushi-age restaurant chains in Japan. One of the reasons is because they allow you to fry your own kushi-age items on your own table. It is perfect for small groups to get together and bond over preparing their own meals. They have a 90 minute session, during which time you can eat unlimited amounts of Kushi-age. The variety of meats to choose from include beef, chicken, pork, seafood, sausages, vegetables and even cheese. Once you are assigned a table, you can head towards the centre of the restaurant where the uncooked chunks of meat and veggies are spread out on big tables.
Pick up your favourite chunks, and bring them back to your table, where you have your own bowl of panko bread crumbs and batter in which you can dip your own kushiage, and then place it in the vat of hot oil in the centre of the table. The novelty of getting to cook your own kushiage, just the way you want it, makes the meal even more tastier, and the experience even more memorable. It’s definitely an experience worth having.
Name: Kushiya Monogatari
Address: 6F Nambaparks, 2-10-70 Nambanaka, Naniwa-ku, Osaka-City, Osaka
Business hour:11:00 – 23:00
Phone number: +81-6-6649-0126
5.Dining Juicy 104
This popular eatery in Osaka serves all its items on a skewer and deep-fried in panko-crusted batter. They also serve a variety of sweet, savoury and spicy sauces along with their fried items. Use the sauces to give every bite an extra zing. Their traditional soy sauce, is a perfect combination of sour, salty and sweet, and you always want to add that one extra dollop of the sauce on your fried skewer. Just remember to be polite, and don’t double dip a half-eaten bite into the common sauce bowl.
Name: Dining Juicy 104
Address: Miya Residence, B1F Shinmachi, 1-2-8 Shinmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka-city, Osaka
Business hour: 17:30 – 23:00
Phone number: +81-6-7178-7204
If you thought that Japanese food was all about Sushi and Ramen noodles, you are hugely mistaken. Kushi-age, while not as popular as sushi or ramen, is an absolutely delightful item to try. Snacking on kushiage, while interacting with friends and making new acquaintances is one of the most satisfying experiences in life. So, next time you are in Osaka, head out to these mouth-watering kushiage heavens and order yourself a round of deep-fried chunks of meat. And don’t forget the only rule of eating Kushi-age…Don’t double dip in the sauce!
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