Are you game for a Kuidaore 食い倒れ (Eat Till You Drop) challenge? Come hungry with me to Dotonbori (道頓堀), the famous street food paradise of Osaka (大阪市). Dotonbori is located in the Namba district and runs along the Dōtonbori canal from Dōtonboribashi Bridge to Nipponbashi Bridge. Be spoiled for choice with Japanese must eats at Dotonbori. Our foodie journey begins. Let’s eat.
I was intrique by these statues outside Dotonbori hotel. Ahah! Very strange indeed!
It soon becomes clear to us that hundreds and thousands of eat crowd are well ahead of our schedule. Come on…let’s get ahead of the game. Wade through the throngs of hungry tourists with me. And watch out for your possessions.
Savour exceptional giant king crabs, sushi, gyoza, ramen, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, scallops and even the hopefully non-deadly fugu (puffer fish)… you name it Dotonbori has it all. The brightly coloured excitable and in your face signboards are all screaming for your business. Plenty of photo opps!
If you love to eat ramen, do eat Kinguemon ramen, a favourite of food critics. Kinguemon’s signature dish is the dark shoyu ramen broth. It’s pretty simple to win the challenge against the vending machine and secure yourself a bowl (or two!) of ramen. Sit yourself at the bar and watch the ramen maestros at work and feast away at these wonderful bowls of ramen. I preferred the Osaka black (dark shoyu ramen) over the tamer clear soup Kin Shoyu version. I enjoyed the chewy noodles and slurped happily at the dark shoyu broth. We visited Dotonbori for our late afternoon snacks after the Furaibo chicken wings and beer lunch at Nagoya.
After the ramen, let’s go for another snack. Let’s play a guessing game. Guess the name of the deep-fried dough ball packed with octopus goodness, smothered with sticky rich dark soy sauce and garnished generously with bonito flakes. You guessed it right, it’s (drumroll….) Takoyaki! A must have in Dotonbori. Thumbs up to the inventor of this delicious snack served in environment-friendly bamboo boats! My street food pick is non other than the famous Kukuru Dotonbori 章魚燒. Be entertained by a culinary show as you queue for your Takoyaki. Watch these well-trained chefs flip the Takoyaki balls in each metal grill mould skilfully at a rhythmic fast speed to prevent any of the takoyaki from burning.
Caution: Eat slowly and if possible use the chopsticks or plastic fork to make a small incision to cool down the takoyaki first before taking your first bite. It pays to wait. Do not take a whole takoyaki in one gulp as it is served at a very hot temperature.
Aesthetic Foodie Fact: Very thin bonito flakes will dance and move about in the wind when placed on food served at a high temperature, and the dish comes alive. Aesthetic food is perceived to taste better. Any thoughts?
A more palatable temperature takoyaki can be found at JR Shin Osaka station in the form of a bento. Do read my related Takoyaki bento experience.
Tip: If this is your first visit to Japan, do visit my related article on Taking In Tokyo as a Japan first-timer for practical tips.
That’s it folks! Follow Dreampliflyer as we eat and travel together around Japan and the rest of the world. Thanks for coming with me to Dotonbori street food paradise of Osaka. Greetings from Osaka with love! Sayonara さよなら!
- Kinguemon 金久右衛門 道頓堀店（キングエモン）
- Address: Kinguemon 金久右衛門 道頓堀店（キングエモン）
- Signature dish: Osaka black shoyu ramen
- Website: http://king-emon-dotonbori.com/?lang=en
- Kukuru Dotonbori 章魚燒
- Address: 1 Chome-10-5 Dotonbori, Chuo Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture 542-0071, Japan
- Signature dish: Takoyaki