[Sightseeing in Osaka] So Many Well-Known Shops in the Showa-Style Underground! 10 Famous Gourmet Dishes at the Osaka Ekimae Building
The Osaka Ekimae Building is a fascinating hot spot which mainly supplies delicious meals to office workers in the Umeda vicinity. Its first to the fourth basement floors are overflowing with a mood reminiscent of the Showa era, housing a lot of shops offering high-quality yet affordable dishes and items. Here are some of the recommended dishes from the popular spots in this building where you can fully experience the authentic atmosphere of Osaka in a lowbrow and extremely cozy atmosphere.
Established in 1751, Mikagego Fukuju is a Japanese sake izakaya (tavern) that is directly operated by the venerable Nada-based brewery Kobe Shu-Shin-Kan Breweries. The Fukuju, the famous brand of sake that uses Miyamizu water from Nada and koji (malted rice) that is totally made by hand, is this shop’s specialty item. Here, you can taste a collection of freshly brewed sake directly shipped from the breweries, as well as namazake (unprocessed sake), among others.
You can enjoy sake shipped straight from the breweries at such low prices at this tavern. It is not uncommon to find this place virtually full by 6:00 pm even on weekdays. Koji Yamada, its manager, claimed that, “I have been working alongside Kazuo Nakahara, our head chef, for 30 years. Please enjoy our wide range of delicious combinations of Japanese sake and food.”
Gyusuji Ponzu (400 JPY) is a dish of juicy beef jaw tendon and onions in ponzu citrus and soy sauce.
Senbon C’est bon
Senbon C’est bon is found on the right side if you pass on the road on the side of Osaka Ekimae Daini Building. While it is a tachinomi (drinking while standing) wine bar where customers can easily drop in thanks to its excellent location, it also offers authentic goodness in the snacks that are paired with the drinks. Its manager has a 20-year career in French cuisine under his belt, as well as served as a chef at Senbon C’est bon’s sister wine izakaya Popompette.
This bar offers an excellent degree of freedom depending on the sake and state of hunger, so some customers are even fulfilled with just the 500 JPY set. Its peak time is around 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm. “You are free to drink here, from the first shop to full-fledged drinking! In the summer, you can even have wine that is cooled in the box at the storefront. You are also welcome to enjoy our beverages that you can have with just a single coin!" said Tsutomu Nitta, manager of the shop.
The 500 JPY set is a great-value set that comes with a glass of wine or some other drink, paired with three snacks. You can choose from a long list of drinks, including white or red wine, draft beer, and sangria.
Kushiage/Teppan Bar BACK9
Kushiage/Teppan Bar BACK9 is a place where you can enjoy kushiage (fried skewer) and horumon (offal) inside a stylish space that is designed around the color black. The kushiage that is cooked crisp in rice-bran oil, which they apparently want first-time guests to taste first, is a specialty dish that is made by hand from breadcrumbs.
The noren (sign curtain at the entrance a shop) that bears the term “horumon” in large characters is its marker!
This is the Kushiage (prices start at 150 JPY(excl. tax)). In the photo, from the left, are the Asparagus Kushiage (200 JPY (excl. tax)), the Kakuni no Kushiage (250 JPY (excl. tax)) that is made of meat that has been stewed for four hours, and the Tennen no Ebi (natural shrimp) (200 JPY (excl. tax)).
Tokuda Saketen Nishi-Umeda Shop
Tokuda saketen is a famous shop with four stores inside the Osaka Ekimae Building. The Nishi-Umeda shop, its second one, offers freshly made obanzai (Kyoto traditional side dishes) and otsukuri (sashimi) just like the other shops, but it is particularly famous for its meat dishes. They don’t make any compromises in choosing ingredients, such as Japanese black beef!
This shop is visited by many customers every day thanks to its abundant daily specials that use the best ingredients that are in season. It is a bustling and vibrant restaurant.
This is the Kuroge Wagyu Kalbi (490 JPY) with lightly pickled cabbage underneath (two-person serving).
Bistro Bar H
Bistro Bar H is a place where you can enjoy high-quality bistro dishes that use carefully selected ingredients delivered on the same day they are cooked, all at such affordable prices. This joint turns into a bar from 2:00 pm, after lunchtime ends, offering guests around 60 dishes, including French skewered food called brochette.
This is the perfect place for a quick drink on the way home from work. Sparkling wine costs 200 JPY per glass until 6:00 pm on Mondays through Fridays!
This place may look casual, but its dishes taste authentic! This is Gyu Fillet Niku to Foie Gras Mukashinagara no Akadama Wine Sauce de (1,382 JPY).
Yamacho Umeda Shop
Yamacho Umeda Shop is a restaurant and bar annexed to a liquor store that debuted in the market more than 35 years ago, right around the time Osaka Ekimae Daini Building was launched. With more than 20 kinds of local brand liquors from all over Japan constantly in its stock and famous drinks such as Koshi no Kanbai sold for just 500 JPY to 650 JPY, this shop’s popularity among sake connoisseurs catapulted in no time.
Its interior is so simple, featuring just a U-shaped counter. Repeat customers seeking rare local drinks always fill this place up.
Jikasei Tori Ham (250 JPY) is a spicy dish using the breast meat of chicken, seasoned with black pepper.
Yuasako is a seafood izakaya where guests enjoy seafood caught in Wakayama, the hometown of its owner. Fresh fish and seafood are directly procured from Yuasa Port every morning and turned into sashimi, and boiled and grilled seafood by the owner of this pub himself. This shop has plenty of regular customers, and it gets crowded with guests early in the day, every day.
Inside, the space is centered on tables with seats for customers. Hirofumi Fukui, its owner, said that, “We have a lot of elderly customers, but we want the younger ones to taste the fish of Wakayama, too.”
This is the Aji no Sugata-zukuri (horse mackerel sashimi arranged in the original shape of the fish; 980 JPY) that has an addicting crisp texture. In the photo, the assortment consists of kurodai (black sea bream), saba (mackerel) and yariika (spear squid) (an additional 1,000 JPY applies for assortment). The mackerel is not marinated in vinegar, but is fresh and can thus be eaten raw.
Sakanaya Ashika was opened in 2011 by its owner who worked in a ryotei (traditional Japanese restaurant), washokuten (Japanese cuisine restaurant), and other places. Here, you can taste fish and seafood in season, sourced from the Kizu market, in sashimi or grilled form. Recently, it has been gaining popularity for its large shima hokke hiraki (opened, flat and dried Atka mackerel) and other dishes.
The Yorimichi Set (980 JPY) comes with sashimi, grilled fish and three types of kobachi, and a drink. You are sure to get high quality in the fish and kobachi. (※The set is available from 5:00 pm to 10:30 pm)
“The Japanese sake here are products of Western Japan that matches the landscape of the land,” claimed Naoki Tochigi, the owner of the shop.
Umeda Sanchoku Ichiba Daisan Building Shop
Umeda Sanchoku Ichiba Daisan Building Shop offers draft beer for 322 JPY. It is a seafood izakaya where the price of draft beer drops to as low as 214 JPY until 7:00 pm. The seafood dishes are affordable as well. Aside from sashimi, there are also grilled fish, boiled fish, tempura and a host of other dishes, making its diverse menu an addition to its major appeal.
The Aji Fry (back, 106 JPY per piece) is not only surprisingly cheap, but tastes fantastic, too. Even the ultra-thick saba (front, 430 JPY) is satisfying with a delicious taste!
Koji Matsumoto, manager of the shop, claimed that, “We usually have about 300 dishes in our menu. There are around 50 kinds of daily sets that change every day. Majority of our dishes are made with ingredients that come straight from the farms and production areas. Even the free-range chickens for the kuwayaki (fried meat covered in a sweet glaze) are directly delivered.” Here, the food and the drinks are served at dirt-cheap prices!
Himono Yaro Umeda Shop
Himono Yaro Umeda Shop is an izakaya dedicated to dried food that was opened by its owner from Wakayama who was stirred by the tastiness of locally produced dried food. Aside from the specialty dishes such as ash-dried mackerel and horse mackerel, this shop is also enjoying rave reviews for its Japanese sake that goes well with dried food.
This is the Banshaku Set (1,000 JPY), the standard set that comes with small bowls and dried foods such as sanma (Pacific saury) that change every day, and the Japanese sake or shochu handpicked by the shop owner.
This shop has an assortment of about 50 kinds of Japanese sake. They go really well with dried food! Tatsuya Hase, manager of the shop, said that, “We are open all day, without breaks, so you can enjoy set meals even in the evening.”
[This article was originally published in Walkerplus on 04.17.2017]
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.
popular article ranking
Osaka × Genre
Best of Tags
Best of Area
Recommended articles for you
- Follow WOW! JAPAN
- Can't find it in a guidebook? Looking through this app will definitely make you want to go to Japan.
Sightseeing information to make you say "Wow!", updated every day!