Gonbei Yakitori Namba Parks – modern izakaya in Osaka

There are many quaint yakitori places in the narrow streets of Namba old town in Osaka, but we came across a modern izakaya specialising in the grilled chicken skewers – Gonbei Yakitori in the Namba Parks mall (炭火焼鳥 権兵衛 なんばパークス店). Gonbei, founded in 1978, has seven stores in Osaka. According to the English translation on the website, it “… is a full-scale charcoal grilled chicken specialty store that uses Kamitobi charcoal”

Gonbei Yakitori Namba Parks
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Le Caneton Osaka – Michelin Bib Gourmand French Restaurant that ticks all the boxes for a good lunch

Le Caneton Osaka is a small French restaurant in Osaka. It has a Bib Gourmand rating in the Kyoto Osaka Michelin Guide 2019. The Bib Gourmand award is given to restaurants which exhibit “Good quality, Good value cooking”. We think that Le Caneton Osaka fits that description perfectly.

Le Caneton Osaka restaurant
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Chibo Okonomiyaki Dotonbori Osaka – wonderful “Japanese pancakes”.

Osaka is said to be the “nation’s kitchen”. It is famed for many types of Japanese food. We were told that the “must-try” food in Osaka is the okonomiyaki. The plan was to go to Mizuno Okonomiyaki – which our friends say is the best okonomiyaki in Osaka. But there was a long queue of about 2 hours! We decided on Plan B – Chibo Okonomiyaki at Dotonbori Osaka – also highly rated but with a much shorter queue, it was the better place to have okonomiyaki in Osaka on that day. Being ranked #47 of 34,040 Restaurants in Osaka in TripAdvisor it is certainly a popular restaurant in Osaka and not too shabby.

Dotonbori Osaka
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La Baie Osaka, Michelin Star French Restaurant in Ritz Carlton Hotel

La Baie Osaka is the signature French restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Stepping into the Ritz Carlton in Osaka was like going into another world. The place is so European and opulent. The common areas are dimly lit and wood panelled. The restaurant La Baie fits into the overall scheme. The one Michelin Star restaurant is formal and grand. Perhaps that is why the dress code is “sophisticated casual attire” and “sophisticated elegant attire” for lunch and dinner respectively. But looking beyond appearances, La Baie is a friendly place. It was one of the few highly rated restaurants in Osaka (that we came across) that would accept English online reservation and did not require any credit card guarantee.

La Baie French Restaurant, RItz Carlton Hotel Osaka Japan
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Sarashina Shinkyogoku, Kyoto – restaurant for kishimen, traditional noodles

Sarashina Shinkyogoku, Kyoto is a simple restaurant serving traditional and delicious noodles in the heart of the Japanese old town. This little restaurant, sometimes referred to as Sarashina Kishimen, is located in Shinkyogoku, a covered shopping arcade in Kyoto that runs parallel to Pontocho alley. The more famous Kyoto Nishiki Market is perpendicular to it. With only Japanese signs and notices outside the shop, we could only guess from the one picture on display on the shopfront that it specialises in kishimen, a type of smooth flat Japanese noodles.

Sarashina Shinkyogoku Kyoto
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