Takoyaki, Okonomiyaki, Kushikatsu. When asked about Tokyo’s local cuisine, it might be hard to answer right away; however, for Osaka, many regional cuisines come to mind immediately.

In recent years Osaka has had a surge of overseas tourists, and we were curious about how foreigners thought about Osaka’s local cuisine. So we asked our New Yorker friend who has been living in Japan for 17 years, about Osaka’s local cuisine.

1. Cute Looking Takoyaki is Delicious!

The most famous local cuisine of Osaka is Takoyaki. Takoyaki is known around the world now, but there was a time when it was translated as Octopus Balls. With a name like that, people would wonder what kind of dish is was? Our New Yorker friend thought Takoyaki looked cute the first time he saw it. I guess it might look cute after hearing Octopus Ball and seeing real Takoyaki.

When you put it in your mouth, the combination of the sauce and mayonnaise is plentiful, and the texture of the octopus is excellent! Only one word can describe it, and it is delicious! However, some would wonder where the octopus is? Because depending on the shop, the octopus can be tiny and hard to find. If you want to feel the presence of the octopus, we recommend looking at store reviews for shops with large octopus chunks.

2. Is it Alive!? It’s up to Luck if you can Find Your Favorite Style of Okonomiyaki

Many shops will cook okonomiyaki on a hotplate in front of you. When our friend saw the bonito flakes move on top of the okonomiyaki, it reminded him of odori-gui (eating raw seafood while it is still moving) and thought it was alive for a moment! Also, when they explained what bonito flakes were, they said it was fish flakes, which gave the impression that it would have a strong fish taste. Plus, it’s hard to imagine what kind of ingredients go inside okonomiyaki just from the name.

The first time our friend mustered his courage and took a bite, the rich flavor of the sauce and the juicy mixture of the vegetables and meat was a shocker. Another interesting point of okonomiyaki is the difference in cooking methods and ingredients for the Osaka style and Hiroshima style. Just as the name implies, okonomiyaki (literally meaning in Japanese, ‘cooked the way you like’ or ‘what you like’), there are so many different types of okonomiyaki depending on the restaurants. Some might be heavy, or not to your liking, kind of how the Osaka style and Hiroshima style is different. One could say it is sort of like finding the ramen you like. It’s up to luck, and that’s why our friend thought it was like playing roulette.

3. No Double Dipping! Kushikatsu is on a Different Level Compared to Other Deep-Fried Dishes

A famous deep-fried dish arou…

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