My Japan Diary - Around Nipponbashi and Namba
Day 5 - We planned where our lunch and dinner will be at so our shopping was basically around those places.
Nipponbashi to Namba was just a stretch away. Our first stop was at Kuromon Market which is also known as 黑门市场.
Kuromon Market was not a disappointment at all. Exit 10 from Nipponbashi station and about 2 mins walk will bring you to the market. You will be welcomed with many Takoyaki and BBQ stations selling grilled squids, meats and many more. Lots of handsome and pretty fishmongers and butchers shouting at you to draw you towards their stall.
Seafoods and fresh vegetables are abundant. It is like a wet market in SG but with more exotic and fresher foods. The place is huge and even though you will see many stalls selling almost the same thing, business seems to be competitive. There was so much to see and buy but too bad we are not living here for long to have a chance to cook.
We then walked for about 10mins to Katsu Yoshibei for lunch. Famous for their katsudon and we surely would not miss something so amazing as KATSU!!!! Located in another food street, it was not too hard to find but is much less touristy. This is how it looks like from the outside.
Seating area is only counter seats with about 12 diners at each time. Order from a vending machine by inserting your money and pressing your preferred meal/ choice of set then collect your order coupon and change. Wait for your seat and pass the coupon to them and wait for your food to be served.
You may hang your coats on the hangers behind as I doubt you can squeeze into the seats comfortably with them on. Pickled daikon is free to eat. We ordered two sets to share. A large rice bowl with two large cutlets and two eggs, as well as a pork cutlet with rice set (rice refillable). Both cost us only 170 yen altogether! What a steal right? The portion are huge. Especially our rice bowl. It's fit for two!
The pork cutlets are tender with a thin layer of flour that is fried till dark brown and very crispy. The tonkatsu sauce was served at the side so it will not cause the cutlet to turn soggy. The rice bowl was downright sumptuous. Pork cutlets are coated with sufficient egg and sauce that simmers through the rice making it tasty even without the meat. Miso soup was a tad too salty though. Otherwise, it was a satisfying lunch with our rice and meat cravings fulfilled.
We went to shop at Takashimaya at Namba (Nankai) station. It was crazily crowded with new year shoppers. But the things sold at the food basement was also plentiful. We were dumbstruck by the amount of goodies available there and how crazy the shoppers are. Since we will be spending our new year count down here as well, we decided to get a Japanese wine and some goodies too!
A hot favorite was recommended to us. It's a little sweet and smooth, quite a contrast with another we tried which was more
Not to forget some snacks to go along! The rectangular package is a red bean filled with mochi. Wait till I've eaten it! I'm looking forward to trying tooooooo!
Dinner was at Akakara, a Japanese red hot nabe comprising of red hot chili peppers and red miso. It's filled with cabbage, bean sprouts, tawpok, leek and tofu. Add in the meat such as pork and chicken for a meatier version. You can also choose the level of spiciness from 1-10. We had 5 to 6 and it was spicier than what we imagined.
At 990 per pax, there's also a lot more side dishes that are popular here. We ordered the cheese tamago, chicken skin and katsu teriyaki. I love them all! The cheese tamago was cheesy but not overwhelming while the chicken skin had almost no fat layers on it. The katsu teriyaki yakitori was tender with light crisp of the skin that's soaked with the sweet sauce.
base is rather salty and condensed so their refills are in very small portions too. It was a wholesome meal that warmed our tummies thoroughly. Good choice for a cold weather like this. Our craving for something hot and spicy was conquered too! ^^
To get to Akakara, you need to walk for about 10 mins from Umeda train station. Underground would be the faster way. Cut through Hankyu Dept Store and walk outside using the Google map.