[Osaka Sightseeing] Celebrities Go Here Too! 5 Carefully Selected Popular Takoyaki Shops in Namba, Dotonbori, and Umeda
Takoyaki, the king of "konamon" (flour-based foods) along with okonomiyaki, is a dish that you must eat when sightseeing in Osaka. Here are 5 carefully selected popular Takoyaki shops in Osaka where you can fully enjoy this comfort food made with octopus in dumplings with the aroma of dashi broth.
Takoya Dotonbori Kukuru
This restaurant on Dotonbori is an octopus specialty restaurant, and offers takoyaki where you can be fully satisfied by both the taste and appearance. Inside the fluffy dumplings made with lots of eggs and mountain yam, sits a large piece of octopus. White wine is added to top it off, a technique to enhance the flavor that you can only find here. Please try this impressive takoyaki.
The Meibutsu Bikkuri Takoyaki (1450 JPY), only at the Dotonbori branch, uses a special copper grill to cook the takoyaki over high heat for more than 10 minutes. The octopus looks like it's going to burst out of the dumpling, and the flavor is a surprising one that can only be created by a well-established shop! The owner, Takuo Yamawaki, says "There are Saturdays where they sell out in 2 hours. Our menu has lots of variations."
You can take both the takoyaki and the Akashiyaki home. Nearby there's a Dotonbori Konamon Museum where you can have fun learning about takoyaki for free.
Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka Sennichimae Main Branch
Next to Namba Grand Kagetsu is Takoyaki Doraku Wanaka, a famous takoyaki shop that has roots in the takoyaki grilled at a cheap sweets shop. The dumplings are made with dashi broth from kelp and bonito for a rich flavor. The special fruity sauce, Okinawan boiled salt, and soy sauce from Shodo Island are all carefully chosen condiments to increase the deliciousness. Enjoy the flavor born from chef's skill and the high quality ingredients!
Wanaka Tokusei Takoyaki (8 pieces for 450 JPY) are grilled on a very hot coppr grill so the outside is crisp while the inside is melty. Choose the salt flavor so you can enjoy its natural taste. The other condiments available are sauce, soy sauce, and thick sauce.
On the weekends, there's often a line of locals and tourists clamoring for takoyaki.
Takoyaki Juhachiban Dotonbori Branch
This shop in Namba has its main branch in Nishi-Nakajima, just one stop away from Shin-Osaka Station on the Midosuji Line, and is famous for its takoyaki which uses plenty of tenkasu (crispy tempura-fried bits of dough) and small shrimp for takoyaki with a crunch. On busy days they sell more than 10,000 pieces. The creamy dumplings are made with milk and dashi broth, and inside is a fresh piece of octopus that came from the Central Market. Try it with their special sauce and deep-sea salt from Muroto.
The sweet rich sauce and the special mellow mayonnaise in Sauce and Mayo (10 pieces for 600 JPY) enhance the creamy texture of the takoyaki.
Hanadako is a popular shop inside Shin-Umeda Shokudogai near the entrance by JR Shin-Osaka Station. Their special takoyaki is made on their patented takoyaki grill and is cooked quite quickly for a fluffy outside and melty inside. They use raw octopus that's so fresh you can eat it as sashimi, so you can enjoy the tender texture. About 500 people visit this shop daily.
The Negimayo (8 pieces for 660 JPY) perfectly balances the creamy takoyaki with crisp green onions and rich mayonnaise. If you get it for takeout, the green onions and ponzu (citrus soy sauce) are wrapped separately.
This shop, which has its main branch in the Nishinari ward, is the founder of takoyaki. More than 80 years ago, they used rajioyaki, a dumpling made with meat and konjac, as a base using Akashiyaki as a hint to create takoyaki. The dumpling is firmly seasoned, so there's no need for sauce.
Ganso Takoyaki (12 pieces for 500 JPY) don't need sauce, so the outside is crisp and the inside is fluffy and melty. Enjoy the texture to your last bite!
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 04.07.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
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