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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

541+

There are all manner of euphemisms to describe the size of 541+: cozy, intimate, snug. But in reality it's a closet containing three small tables separated from the kitchen by a fridge. The size is reflected in the gyōza dumplings, which are also petit. In ...

Ramen Yashichi

Yashichi is a notable ramen shop on two counts: it ranked 39 on review website Tabelog's top 50 ramen restaurants for 2016 and has devised a way of dealing with its popularity by eliminating long lines to get it. Rather, when you pull up ...

Fujimoto

Fujimoto is that rare kind of sushi restaurant that has covered many bases without tripping over any of them along the way. Take the price, for example. While the omakase (set menu) options for lunch and dinner are priced between ¥3,500 and ¥6,000, the ...

Oimatsu Kitagawa

Toru Kitagawa, the chef and owner of Oimatsu Kitagawa, has a casual air about him that borders on insouciance — an air that belies the imagination, creativity and earnestness of his cooking. Perhaps this equanimity is an Osaka trait, but it could just have ...

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, ...

Rikyu

Tsukasa Yamaguchi likes to play. But not much of what he does behind the counter of Rikyo, which he opened nearly two years ago, suggests this. Like many of his contemporaries working in haute cuisine restaurants, Yamaguchi has the manner and intensity of a ...

Kashmir

Let's start on the street. That's where I waited in line for an hour before moving to a dark, narrow hallway for another hour of waiting. At infrequent intervals the door to Kashmir would open, allowing in customers and expelling the spicy aromas from ...