VIDEO | Osaka, Japan Travel Vlog – We Came, We Saw, We Ate

VIDEO | Osaka, Japan Travel Vlog – We Came, We Saw, We Ate

I thought that allocating 10 days for our first Japan trip was a little overkill. Jr, who is a workaholic, doesn’t like vacationing as much so this was all me, stretching it. I crafted an itinerary where we are able to see the highlights — those were actually interested in — as well as off-the-beaten sites catering to our interests. I’ve balanced my need to pack it all in Amazing Race style and Jr’s more laissez faire holiday attitude.

And then we got to Japan and realize immediately that 10 days are not enough. You will never see them all.

In our 10 days in Japan, we had two full days in set aside for Osaka. On our first day, we went to Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen museum, where we got to make our own cup noodles. After 3 years, those cup noodles remains untouched and will forever be memorabilias. I know, because I’m staring at them now while they sit up on top of our fridge.

Ramen 01

The next day, we went to Universal Studios Japan. Jr isn’t much of a rides person, and I was just content in walking through the park and taking in the sights while eating turkey legs along the way. This we did while we spent the day waiting to get inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. For a fan of both the books and the movies, it was kick seeing Hogsmeade and Hogwarts come to life and it was worth the long, long wait.

Universal Studios Japan, November 2014
Universal Studios Japan, November 2014

But Osaka isn’t known to be Japan’s Kitchen for nothing. Later on that night, we went to Dotonbori and ate everywhere we can eat. Takoyaki, Sushi carousels, Okonomiyaki — the motto was as long as there’s a line, and there’s food at the end of that line, we will fall in line.

Osaka – oishii desu!

Watch the video below:

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Kenshin and the Do It Yourself Takoyaki

Kenshin and the Do It Yourself Takoyaki

Jr and I never let a good takoyaki pass by unnoticed. If there was takoyaki on the menu, we would most likely order it. If there was takoyaki in the food court, we’d probably go by the kiosk and get one. We’ve had the best takoyaki of our lives after queuing for it in Dohtonbori. But admittedly, I am still partial to the tako-less takoyaki of Samurai balls. I don’t care if they’re just balled up, overly seasoned pancakes. Those little guys are the bomb.

Japan, 2014
Japan, 2014
Japan, 2014
Japan, 2014
Japan, 2014
Japan, 2014

So when Jr heard that there is a do-it-yourself takoyaki set you can order in Kenshin, a Japanese restaurant in near Maluggay St, we trooped our way to Makati. I mean, friends couldn’t invite me to Makati even after twisting my arm. But strong is the call of food, so we braved the traffic and headed south.

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Kenshin is a fast casual Japanese restaurant that resides at the ground floor or a residential condominium. They had a Mt Fuji mural on one wall, the other wall is lined up with Japanese whiskey bottle reserves. The tables are full with families out for a saturday dinner and couples out on dates. But most importantly, there are Japanese patrons in the establishment.

Basically, the general rule for dining out in any establishment offering regional cuisine, if there are people from the same country eating in a restaurant boasting their cuisine, then it must be authentic and good.

Jr ordered the Chicken Karaage set, while I ordered the Beef Sukiyaki set. The Chicken Karaage was soft and tender you can cut it with your chopsticks. The Beef Sukiyaki was sweet and meaty. Both sets had generous servings and good enough to share. If you don’t want to share, which I understand, the set comes with unlimited rice.

kenshin-chicken-karaage-setkenshin-beef-sukiyaki-set

Lest we forget, we also ordered what we came here for: The Do It Yourself Takoyaki.

The server placed the butane can powered, single burner on our table and fired it up under the takoyaki plate. She placed all we needed on the table: the cooking oil, the batter, the fillings and the seasonings. And in spite of the many times we’ve seen a takoyaki cooked before our eyes, we still asked for instructions on how to actually do it.

It’s delicious. It’s another take on the table cooking we love doing at those yakiniku/hotpot buffets. And most of all, it’s fun.

kenshin-do-it-yourself-takoyakikenshin-takoyaki-2kenshin-takoyaki


G/F The Linear Makati
Yakal street corner Makapis Street
Makati, Philippines

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Little Tokyo | The Takoyaki in Hana Restaurant

Little Tokyo | The Takoyaki in Hana Restaurant

It was our second trip to the New Hatchin grocery and once again, did not meet the 5:00 pm Takoyaki cut off. Yes, they only sell fresh Takoyaki until 5 and we kept missing it. But we are not to be defeated! Where’s the next best takoyaki in Manila (or probably it MAY BE the best since we have yet to try the ones from New Hatchin)?

I say it’s in Hana in Little Tokyo.

But you don’t have to take my word for gospel truth on that. Heck, I love the bastardization of the takoyaki created by Samurai balls. It’s laughable we even call that takoyaki. There’s not even a speck of tako (octopus) in there. They’re just balls of sweet batter. But still, yes, I love them.

The heart wants what the heart wants.

But if you’re looking for something close to those in Japan (and we had dozens in Osaka), the takoyaki they make in Hana is comfortably similar. You can always tell it’s good when you see Japanese expats actually crowding and queuing for the takoyaki stand in front. It’s a real piece of (their) home.

I know. If I was away from home, I’d line up for Jollibee chickenjoy too.

Little TokyoLittle Tokyo Tuna SashimiLittle Tokyo Hana GyudonLittle Tokyo Hana Katsu CurryLittle Tokyo 2Little Tokyo Hana Takoyaki


Hana
Little Tokyo 2277 Chino Roces Avenue
Legaspi Village, Makati City

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