Family style western diner in Osaka with an unlikely owner16 April, 2013 by Chad
Part of the fun of going on a trip is trying out new experiences. These don’t always have to be planned for. Often out of adventure or sheer desperation, we find ourselves trying out random cafes and restaurants that we come across. At times, the results of these experiments can be disappointing but every so often we are surprised to find something quite enjoyable.
Friendship, a small restaurant in Morinomiya was one of those positive finds. Located across the road from Osaka Castle Park, we first came across the restaurant in winter 2011 when attempting to seek cover from a sudden assault of sleet. The promise of shelter and hearty western-styled cuisine was enough to draw us in quite quickly.
Though the sign outside says Yashoku and Beer (洋食 とビール), the real shop name is actually Grill Friendship (グリル フレンドシップ). We had first though the place to be a privately owned restaurant, and you can’t really blame us for mistaking. The inside of the restaurant resembles your typical small family run cafe with its homely setting. It turns out however that Friendship is actually opened by the founder of the popular Tokumasa Curry Udon franchise.
Being a yoshoku restaurant, Friendship is carries all the Japanese derived western standards such as omurice, curry and hamburgs. Prices are typical of other “shokudo” restaurants, around 1,000-1,500 yen a meal. Based on its location, it is highly likely that Friendship caters to tourists, both local and overseas that come to visit Osaka’s castle. Thankfully, quality is not sacrificed.
The omurice at Friendship is great, not nearly as amazing as Asakusa Nobu but still better than the norm, while the curry rice benefits from the founder’s experience with the successful curry udon franchise.
During this last year, I had the chance to revisit Friendship, amusingly once again to take shelter from the weather. Remembered the promise to try out the shop’s hamburg steak, which looked especially popular with its customers. It was actually pretty good, despite not being a particular fan of hamburgs.
I wouldn’t order more than one dish per person at Friendship though, since the servings here are extremely generous. Out of the three, the omurice seems to be the hot fave so go with that if you ever find yourself stumbling upon this restaurant. Interestingly, Osaka is thought to be the birth place of the Japanese concept of omelette rice, at least by some accounts.
16-15 Morinomiyachuo Ichome
Chuo Ward, Osaka City
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