....... Divertimento: Osaka Day 1

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Osaka Day 1

I had requested for non smoking adjoining rooms for my family of 4 and the only adjoining rooms available at the hotel during our stay is on a smoking floor. Sigh. I guess I’ll give it a shot and see if this works out. I forget how accepted smoking in public is in Japan compared to Hong Kong.

Right next door to the hotel is a shopping center with coffee shops, retail outlets for fashion, a supermarket – brands known to every Hong Kong person includes Muji, McDonalds, Yoshinoya, Mozoroff Cafe and Subway (the sandwich shop).

Time to venture out. We headed back to the Namba/Dotombori area. It’s very touristy, very happening. We had to have ramen拉面 ( ラーメン) for dinner – what else. Time to check out what Osaka has to offer. I picked a small no nonsence ramen shop on the Sennichimae Shopping Street. Not a word of English understood here. I decide to be adventurous and tried a chashu ramen with a thick soup. It tasted like it had mashed up hard boiled egg yolk in the soup – more like thick gravy than soup. By the time I finished the ramen, the bowl was just about bone dry! The gravy/soup clung on to the ramen so that nothing was left behind. Very different from the watery Hong Kong style soups for noodles and the Japanese miso and even tonkatsu soups. Definitely better for winter time. Of course, there was also the half a nearly hard boiled egg. The chashu was everything I wanted Japanese chashu to be – melt in  the mouth layers of meat and fat! Yummy! Several condiments were on the table. The chilli sauce was very good.

Ramen menu
Poster in the ramen shop in Osaka

Ramen in Osaka
My bowl of delicious ramen

Speaking of "nearly hard boiled egg" reminds me of the time I dropped into a ramen shop in Hokkaido's ramen alley one Christmas. I asked if my son could have his egg fully hard boiled instead of nearly ..... The answer was a firm "no". They only do eggs one way and it cannot be changed. How quaint. I  have not asked again, ever, anywhere, in  Japan.

The Namba/Dotombori/Shinsaibashi area is full of alleys with brightly lit shops and eateries open till late (I have yet to figure out what time the shops close). There were some shoppers dressed in kimonos but sadly, I did not spot any geikos (in kanji 芸妓 or in Chinese 艺伎) (as geishas are called here is Osaka) this evening. I am not giving up...keeping my eyes peeled. Maybe I'll be luckier in Kyoto? Let's hope.

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