El Zocalo Burrito

El Zocalo Burrito is, as its name implies, all about burritos. Located on a quiet street west of Shinsaibashi Station, it offers a reprieve from the never-ending throng of tourists wandering the nearby Dotonbori shopping district. Though the restaurant takes its name from the main ...

Kakomi

I have worked in my fair share of kitchens over the years. At some stage while toiling at each, someone — usually a chef — would lose their temper with me and regain it only after loudly roasting me with words not fit for ...

Gokan

In Kitahama, just north of Umeda, there are two rather stately teahouses within cake-throwing distance of each other. Kitahama Retro is where you'll want to go if you like crustless cucumber sandwiches, afternoon tea and Edwardian cosplay. But don't let the pretense fool you, ...

Garage

Even though it's called Garage, this eatery is probably better described as a shack. On weekdays, during lunch and after work, the clientele is mostly drawn from the surrounding offices, but on weekends the crowd is not as uniform. A small open-air courtyard where wine ...

Fusama ni Kakero

Usually I'm three sheets to the wind when I slurp down ramen, but the ramen at Fusama ni Kakero is worth staying sober for. Like at nearly every ramen establishment there's a few choices in broth, but I was told to go with the shio-ramen ...

Difference

Certain foods are like certain songs: they transport you to another time and place. Foie gras always reminds me of Belgium — specifically a wedding I once attended outside Brussels. It was the bride's wish (and command) that all 200-plus guests would eat foie ...

Chi-Fu

Chi-Fu is a French restaurant in every sense except the cooking. The maitre d' and wait staff are besuited and seemingly straight-laced, the linens are crisp white, the wine list is long and, yes, there are the inevitable oversize plates on which chefs sparsely ...

Buff

Highway FM is possibly the worst radio station ever, unless you like your music country and each song laced with messages of patriotism, a work hard, play hard mantra or neighborly love. Sometimes a bit too much love. At Buff, a steak restaurant near Minami-morimachi, ...

Naniwa

The small and flimsy Naniwa cafe is located on Tengonakazakidori, one of my favorite shōtengai shopping streets in Osaka. Compared to the neighboring Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai, which stretches for 2.6 kilometers, Tengonakazakidori Shotengai is a short stroll. What it lacks in length it makes up ...

Ukon

The answer: bento box. The question: What Japanese food — or type of meal — would I miss most if I left Japan? And now for some qualifications, before an explanation in the form of a restaurant review. Owing to a combination of globalization and ...