Translated by Matcha Admin
How To Enjoy Kushikatsu At Shinsekai, Osaka
Written by Keisuke Yamada
Kushikatsu refers to battered and deep-fried meat and vegetable on a skewer. Shinsekai is known the Tsutenkaku Tower as well as its large variety of kushikatsu restaurants. Today, let's take a trip to Osaka's retro area and try the popular local dish.
Shinsekai - Osaka's Retro Food Haven
Shinsekai was officially founded in 1912. The planners intended to mimic the atmosphere of Paris and New York, while also fusing it with the Japanese style. This created a unique townscape.
For a while, it experienced a temporary decline due to other areas such as Dotonbori becoming more popular. Nowadays, Shinsekai boasts of nationwide fame as one of the oldest areas in Osaka to retain the city’s classic character. It is a great place to fully experience what Osaka in the old days used to be like.
The streets of Shinsekai are located right by Osaka’s famous Tsutenkaku Tower. Shinsekai is home to plenty of places where you can enjoy delicious Osaka-specific food such as takoyaki, okonomiyaki and kushikatsu.
This article will introduce you to the appeal of the Shinsekai area, and teach you how to enjoy Osaka's famous kushikatsu.
Osaka's Famous Restaurant Displays at Shinsekai
Shinsekai is notable for its plethora of shops and restaurants with bright, flashy signs. Since many of these places are lined- up in tight proximity, each establishment has its own method to stand out.
This is a golden statue of Billiken, the god of good fortune. You can meet one of the most famous versions of him at Tsutenkaku’s viewing platform.
Billiken can be found in other places around Shinsekai as well.
However, Billiken is not the only attraction of Shinsekai. There are plenty of other places where you might want to take photos, such as this famous kushikatsu shop with a shopkeeper statue standing guard at the front. His sign says that no double-dipping in the sauce is allowed which we will explain later.
The giant octopus on this sign probably makes it very obvious that this is a takoyaki (fried dough balls with octopus) restaurant.
When at Shinsekai, Try Kushikatsu
Kushikatsu refers to skewers of meat, vegetable, fish, and other ingredients, which are then dipped into batter, breaded and deep-fried. It is a very popular casual food in Osaka.
Kushikatsu restaurants can be found all over Osaka but Shinsekai is popular for the large amount of them back to back. All of them serve delicious kushikatsu so you can enjoy choosing your favorite. Some of the restaurants do offer an English menu but you might want to make sure about it beforehand if this is important to you.
Usually, you pick the kushikatsu from the menu one by one. If you are not secure about this, most restaurants offer set options as well.
Kushikatsu is one of the rare delights in Osaka you can even enjoy as a vegetarian as there is a variety of vegetables that can be used. Some shops even offer mochi or oreo cookies as kushikatsu.
Cooking techniques and ingredients vary by restaurant. Usually, the kushikatsu is made and fried to order.
No Double-Dipping! - How to Enjoy Kushikatsu
To enjoy the kushikatsu, choose one and dunk it in the sauce and try not to burn yourself. The flavor of the crispy kushikatsu pairs well with the sweet and sour Worcestershire sauce.
One thing is absolutely crucial to remember when enjoying kushikatsu, never dip the skewer in the sauce twice. In short, no double-dipping!
The sauce bowls are communal and the next customer will use the same sauce. Please remember this rule so that everyone can enjoy their meal.
If the flavor of the sauce is too weak, let the skewer soak for a little longer. Some restaurants also serve cabbage leaves alongside the dish to snack on and also to use as a spoon to put more sauce on the skewer.
Make sure to put each skewer in the receptacle on the table after you’ve finished. You shouldn't put them on your plate or back on the serving tray.
Visit Shinsekai and Enjoy the Local Food
Some people might visit the Tsutenkaku Tower and move on for lunch or dinner to Dotonbori or America Mura. However, delicious food is waiting all around the historical landmark so make sure to stay and try the local food.