Thursday, June 30, 2016

On nom nom nom in Dotonburi

Dotonburi, one should never leave the place hungry. Or I should say, it's impossible to starve in this place because you're more likely to have your stomach burst from eating too much. And the only thing you can, or should do is go shop at those drug stores and let them take all your money!

While walking to Dotonburi, first thing we spotted was the famous Glico man sign
(View from Donki, another must visit place because they sell everything!)

Our flight landed at 2 something pm, took a shuttle ride to the terminal, went through immigration check, took our baggage, got the Kansai Thru Pass from the airport, it was already an hour later. We then bought bus tickets to go to OCAT (Osaka City Air Terminal) because our bnb was right across it.

The Kansai Tourist Information Center where we bought our Kansai Thru Pass
Our bus tickets and baggage claim tags
One thing I really admire Japanese is their passion in doing their job. Whether it's the staffs from the tourist center, the bus conductors or salespersons, once they're in their uniforms, they just give a 100% to their job.

See how our luggage were assembled so neatly.
Not only when we're waiting for our bus to the OCAT, even when we're waiting for our luggage in the airport, our bags were all arranged in such orderly fashion that the handles are all placed in the most convenient way for people to grab it. Sorry no photo because there was a sign saying no photos allowed.

After checking in and refreshed ourselves up, it's dinner time!

Doing the cliche, taking pic with the Glico man

First impression of Dotonburi of course was of course the crowd, the neon lamps and oversized illuminated signboards everywhere! I was thinking to myself, "Wu... I wanna eat this... and this.. probably this too... Ah that! I need to get that! That Lion brand foot patch! Is 4 boxes enough? One for cousin, one for PSL and two for me! Just take all my money already!!!!"

Our first order was.... 

Gyozas from Osaka Osho
 Erm.... Bobby and I both agreed that it tasted just like Excapade's one. Meaning to say, we Bruneians are pretty lucky to have all these delicious and affordable Japanese food because honestly, some of the food we had in Japan and here in Brunei weren't that much of a difference. Maybe just ramen, I have yet to taste a delicious bowl of ramen in Brunei with that creamy smooth classic tonkotsu soup because of obvious reason... *cough* not halal *cough*

Anyways, feeling not so satisfied from the gyozas, we decided to have our very first decent meal in Osaka in Ichiran because everyone raves about it saying it's the best ramen ever, it wasn't exactly dinner time yet so the queue was still manageable and also, I need something hot and filling after a long day.

We thought we're really lucky since we didn't see any line outside but upon going in, then we saw a long line of people waiting. Fortunately for us, we didn't need a private room since there's only the two of us and the booth will do so. We probably just waited about 15 minutes from queuing, buying our meal tickets and to our seats.

Since it was our first time, we followed the recommendation that says pick half, medium and regular for each item.
 I love the design of the booth!

It's private yet you can fold up the panel in between so you can still interact with the person sitting next to you. There's a water dispenser on the left too and it's just so great for a aquaholic like me! (I always feel paiseh to ask for water refill). Then there's window blind right in front and you can only see the server's hands and hear voices talking to you. Once your order is complete, the window blind will be lowered and you will have your private me-time with your heavenly bowl of tonkotsu ramen.

With an extra egg and also extra charsiu because we're greedy and hungry like that!

O.M.G! Seriously super awesome man this bowl of ramen!!!

The broth, the noodles texture, the charsiu.... PERFECT!

However, the regular red sauce was a little too spicy for me therefore with my second order, I only picked half.

But still, one of the best ramen ever!

Our verdicts~

Next, we were still a little full from the ramen. We decided to roam around the busy street before we have something heavy again.

Makes me wonder what is the FIRST delicious melonpan ice cream in the world... Anyone knows the answer?
Or, it's just their way of being humble.

As you can see, food in Japan isn't really that cheap (please don't compare with food in konbini like onigiri, we're speaking in general). That melonpan icecream costs 400 yen which is about BND5.00 (depending on the exchange rate but I'm just going to use BND1=80 yen for this trip), so ya... considering a polo bun kiap ice cream... $5.00. You get the idea.


Sorry for the blurry photo
I like it quite a lot because the warmness from the toasty bun with the cold icecream, superb!
(But Bobby didn't really enjoy it. -_-")

Next, we walked back to the alley where Ichiran Ramen was located but this time, not for the ramen but for Sekai No Yamachan!

Sekai No Yamachan, with 75 shops in Japan

Love the vibe of this restaurant
The main reason I went inside this shop is of course.....

Their famous chicken wings!
.... which... honestly... was a huge disappointment to me..... :(

It tasted by like some ordinary chicken wings that I can just make using my air fryer and marinate it just with salt. Sorry if any of you fans out there disagree with me but I think Lee Loi Fatt's chicken wings win hands down.

But then on the other hand...

This was so so good!

This Kani Douraku (Grilled crab paste) was absolutely to die for!

Grilled scallop
As for grilled scallop, we thought the one we had in Tsukiji market was better.

So ya, that's the fourth place we ate in Dotonburi (gyoza, ramen, melonpan with icecream and yamachan) and if you think that's it... you're so so wrong.

Dotonburi Kukuru Konamon-Museum

I bet you all can guess right away what we had here..

Yeap, takoyaki!

Flavor-wise it was really great but texture... I prefer Gindaco's, crispy outside and mushy inside. This takoyaki that we had was a little too gooey for our liking.

As the finale for the day, we picked.....

The main branch

Hello, we're in Osaka. Of course we had to have it here because that's where Pablo cheese tart started! Their "rare/medium" cheese tart is so famous that most of my friends were excited over the cheesecakes review over other Japanese food. This revolutionary cheese tart is one of the must-try I must say.

We picked dine-in because we just wanna have it right away! And also, Pablo only has two premium cafes in Japan, one is in Dotonburi and the other one in Omotesando. Since we're in Dotonburi, we will just eat there.

My plain cheese tart

You can picked either rare or medium and the difference is, the rare one is the gooey one that flows right out after you cut it and the medium is slightly firmer and we didn't specify which one we wanted and just order the plain set and Bobby the cinnaple set.

You can view the video of me cutting the cheese tart here.

It was pretty good but we're already quite full from all the eating and to be honest, we were both struggling to finish it. So tips for you all out there, don't be so greedy and want to eat everything in one go because you may not enjoy it fully. Hehehehhehehe.

Dotonburi is such a wonderful place that Bobby was disappointed there's no such eating street in Tokyo, so meriah and ceria. We stayed in Osaka for 5 nights and we went there 3 times! Oh well, for Shinsaibashi the shopping street as well but that's another story for another day.

If any of you are interested in visiting, I had marked all the places in the map here.

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