The area around Kyobashi Station, a major transit hub close to Osaka Castle, is not short of restaurants. But if you’re nearby and have a hankering for chicken, try Kushiyakitori Mahoroba, a small and charming yakitori restaurant.

Run by a husband-and-wife team the atmosphere inside is pub-like: The lights are turned down and the air is pleasantly smoky from the hot charcoals. There is a handful of seats at the counter and three tables for floor seating — but they all fill up fast, so a reservation is recommended.

At Mahoroba your meal starts with an otoshi (appetizer) plate of vegetables. The ingredients change, but always come with a dollop of umami-rich moromi miso as a condiment. It went best with the lightly pickled cucumbers.

From here you move on to the omakase (chef’s selection) yakitori course, choosing either the five- or seven-skewer option. The skewers are ¥100 to ¥250 each.

We started with bonjiri (the fatty tail meat), which is about as chewy as it gets. From here, things got meatier. The skin of the tebasaki (grilled chicken wing) crackled from its salt coating, but the standout skewer was the tsukune (ground chicken) served with an egg yolk. Dip the smoky meat into the yolk for an umami overload.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

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