A Couple of Local Specialties from Osaka
Here's a couple other local Osakan specialties, the first of which is takoyaki. We went to some side stall on Dotombori, selling six scorching hot balls for 300 Yen (US$2.60). I couldn't quite tell the difference between this stall's (Hon Ke Nippon Ichi Ohtako, 6211-5233) and another's, but these each came with one very fresh cut of octopus inside, presumably the reason why these guys in particular seemed quite popular.
Next we went further south towards Tennoji to Shinsekai, the far end of which was filled with various kushiage shops. These were basically various cuts of skewered meat similar to kushiyaki, but battered and deep fried instead. In that sense, it is a bit like Old Chang Kee or even some Scottish fry shops, given that they will even batter up things like kimchi, mochi, and gyoza. My favorite of the bunch though was the cheese...melted straight through and oozing of delight. Yum. We loved these so much that we ordered a couple more.
If all of this sounds artery-clogging, it was. Fortunately, the batter in this kushikatsu shop was was fairly light, and they do give standard issue cabbage to help cut through the grease. It's interesting that all of these local items (and that other local specialty, okonomiyaki) all feature that dark sweet sauce too. It's a taste that I don't mind from time to time, but I wouldn't be able to eat that grease and dark sauce combination all of the time. We got some simple zaru udon at a separate stall afterwards just to help purge our systems.