Obscure sushi restaurant at Osaka’s Shinsekai17 April, 2013 by Chad
Osaka’s Shinsekai is as touristy as it gets. But ignoring our own good advice, we somehow found ourselves wandering around the slum streets being approached by street touters at every turn. While dodging their assail we came across this sushi shop in a secluded corner and were pleased with the surprisingly affordable prices for such an area.
For some reason, it’s a universal rule that lust and gluttony go hand in hand in shady areas like Osaka Shinsekai. There’s no shortage of variety of food to choose from at this infamous neighbourhood. Some come for the famous Kushikatsu skewered meats at Daruma, but at an average of 200 yen a stick, it’s not really practical for when traveling on a budget.
Enter Yamatoya, an un-intimidating chain restaurant at the end of the left corner of Shinsekai. Like the majority of shops around here, Yamatoya also operates a kushikatsu store, but for some reason they also offer an affordable sushi alternative.
There isn’t really much to say about Yamatoya that cannot be said for other similar sushi restaurants in Japan. Most should be familiar with the simple setting, with an option of table or counter seats. The day’s recommendations are displayed prominently, the morning’s catch being placed at the counter.
What was surprising though were the generous servings, despite the ridiculously low prices which they cost. A simple set of about 10 to 12 pieces of sushi cost only 1,000 yen, or slightly more than $12 Singapore dollars. These weren’t the choicest of cuts of course, but were fresh, so there really wasn’t much to complain about given the price.
If you aren’t fussy with food, it goes to show that you can really get away with some really enjoyable meals without having to pay much. Given that a large portion of Japan’s produce and catches are obtained locally and the high level of competition between restaurants, you’ll actually have a hard time finding sushi (and other Japanese dishes in general) that isn’t fresher than what you’d be able to obtain elsewhere.
Naniwa Ward, Osaka City
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