Kisoji, Osaka

There’s something to be said for old school friends – no matter how much time passes it’s always good to see them and especially if one is visiting them, they always know the best places around town! The benefits of having studied at an international boarding school is that no matter where in the world you are, there is always an old friend, an old acquaintance to bump into. In my case it happened to be 3 old friends in the city of Osaka, who not only agreed to meet up and go out for a meal, but also help me with hotel bookings, take us out to see the castle and spend the whole day… ah… happiness!

Funny thing is, reading tweets and seeing photos of friends in LA, Shabu shabu seems to be their favourite thing to eat, in fact a lot of peoples favourite thing to eat in  that part of the world, whilst in England, it hasn’t really caught on, so when I was told that we were being taken to a shabu shabu restaurant, I was quite excited, and then I got asked if I would like to try fugu, or blowfish – a fish that takes 4 years of training to prepare as if wrongly prepared, it can be a fatal morsel owing to the high amount of neurotoxin found in its ovaries and liver. Yes I would like to have fugu. Sashimi or fried? Both please!!!! Oh, and the restaurant we went to was called Kisoji.

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Appetiser
Sauces
Cauldron

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A little appetiser of Pickled sea weed, potato and salmon caviar  was a little too acidic for my liking, but a wee taste did cleanse the palate up nicely. The sauces were a creamy sesame sauce and a tangy shoyu sauce. In the middle of the table was placed a bubbling pot of kombu dashi stock. The stage was set. Bring on the ensemble…

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Beef
Beef
Fugu Sashimi
Veg

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With the city of Kobe being only an hour away from Osaka, it only made sense we have Kobe, or Wagyu beef – wafer thin slices. And oh…the fugu… well….it’s great……surprisingly meaty in its texture and flavour with almost nothing apart from its name suggestive of it’s life as a fish. A lovely basket of vegetables and tofu waiting to be dunked…

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Beef
Veggies swimming
Crispy fugu

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So the beef gets swished in the boiling liquid for a couple of seconds and then dipped into one of the two sauces before it melts in your mouth! The same goes with the veggies. As for the crispy fugu, it is now my favourite form of fried fish – I don’t think I can ever eat any other fried fish…

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Noodles n Mochi
Green tea ice cream

After all the meat n veggies were polished off, the noodles made an appearance supported by savoury mochi (stick rice cake) – like before they had a swim in the dashi stock before settling down in cups along with some stock, ponzu and pepper. Sticky umaminess!

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And finally, after all that gorging, came a little matcha green tea ice cream and green tea to lighten it all up! Perfect! Hai!

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Overall Experience: 8
Food: 7
Recommend you go: 7

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