I plan to sleep late and get out of bed in time for lunch every day. So I'm skipping breakfast and the extra stomach fill that normally would be. In between lunch hour and dinner hour I plan to snack every day at some unknown local shop I pass while I stroll downtown Osaka on my sightseeing. Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki are among the specialities I certainly will try. I am open to tips on other local specialities I should try and also where I should try it in Osaka. The time between lunch and dinner is also when I will be doing all my tourist sightseeings of the local culture in Osaka. I will of couse have the lunch and dinner reservations during lunch and dinner hours too and finally I plan to snack at the winebar Mille Carresses after dinner every day. I am not entierly sure about Mille Carresses and if it is the kind of place which is suitable for that kind of plan and if it is possible just walk in without a reservation. I am going just to snack and have a few drinks after dinner. I do not have the capacity for any menus or full cources there after both lunch, mid day snacking and dinner. I would appriciate feedback if Mille Carresses is a place suitable for this or if someone maybe have alternatives or other suggestions if Mille Carresses is not suitable.
Here is also a very interesting article featuring some of the favourites served at Mille Carresses:
Then we have the lunch and dinner reservations I hope to make. I don't know how hard these restaurants are to reserve. I will only find out when I start trying. So eventually this list might have to change once I start, but this is at least the preliminary list I initially want to try to do. As usual I am very interested in feedback on the listed restaurants and their quality, on your thoughts on them and possible alterntives. I know there is some great knowledge among you out there, so any feedback would be highly appriciated.
As you can see there are a great variety of restauarnts listed for Osaka. I haven't focused on anything local I should try several restaurants of to get a full assesement of that particular cusine. Instead I have opted for variety to dine at the most significant and best of the restauarnts in Osaka.
The top priority restaurants I want to go to in Osaka are Hajime and Kahala. Both are what I would call kaiseki restauarnts of the very inventive and innovative type although very different from each other. They have both been listed on the Pellegrino Top 50 Asian restauarnts list the last years. I hope to dine at both restaurants for dinner. I think both Hajime and Kahala used to have three Michelin stars but now they both have two. It is still my beleif though that they will be the best in Osaka according to my preferences.
Then I want to go to two fugu restaurants. One was the Tabelog top ranked restaurant last year any category and is called Takuyasu. The other is run by the Chairman of the Japanese Fugu Society and is called Kitahachi. I have not been able to find Kitahachi on Tabelog. If anyone would help me I would be most grateful. I hope to dine at Kitahachi for dinner and Takuyasu for lunch. According to Tabelog Takuyasu is open for lunch even though the Michelin guide says otherwise. Both have two Michelin stars.
I have an Italian restaurants on my Osaka schedule too. I want to go to this restaurant for lunch. Qunitocanto has been a top five restaurant on the Tabelog restaurant end of year listing any category the last years
I also want to add in a Spanish influenced restaurant called Fujiya 1935. It has got three Michelin stars and was highly rated by Robbie Swinnerton on his blog Tokyo Food File from a visit to Osaka. I want to reserve this restaurant for lunch.
Then I have also added a French inspired restaurant called Point. It is a new two Michelin star restaurant this year and the chef did his training at Taillevent (where I have dined previously) and La Tour d'Argent in Paris before returning to Japan. I would like to reserve Point as a lunch spot.
Then there are two kaiseki restaurants chosen for my Osaka visit. They are Sakurae Toyonaka and Momen. I hope to dine at Momen for dinner and Sakurae Toyonaka for lunch. I know very little about Momen other than what is written on this forum. It seems the writings about it here were done before Osaka became a regular Michelin guide city. The writings indicate that the Michelin guide would probably include it (I assume because of its quality) and that once it gets known through Michelin it will get impossible to reserve. So I put my money on the fact that it is very good. The Tabelog description suggests so. It eventually got included in the Michelin guide, but it is not currently listed. Sakurae Toyonaka has two Michelin stars and seems to serve some very inventive cusine.
Then I have added Taian as a dinner spot. Taian has three Michelin stars and specialize in char-grilled dishes.
I have also added Koryu which is a Michelin three star restauarnt for lunch. Koryu specialize in seafood.
I have chosen two sushi restaurants for dinner. One is Sushi Harasho which is the highest ranked sushi restauarnt in the Michelin guide. It is the only one with two stars. The other sushi choice is Sushi Saeki which is highly rated on Tabelog although not listed in the Michelin guide. It has consistantly been ranked in the top end of the year ranking any category on Tabelog the last years. It has even been ranked the top restaurant a few years. Last year it was ranked number two.
Finally I have added the Kitcho Osaka Koraibashi Head Office in Osaka as a lunch restauarnt. I hope to be able to compare the Kitcho head offices in all three cities Kyoto, Tokyo and Osaka.
The research tools I have used to identify where I want to dine have been this very fine forum, the website Tabelog, the Michelin guide, the outstanding website Bento (thanks Robb) and a lot of googling on blogs and articles on the web. My knowledge are certain to be full of holes though and I might have missed some very significant restaurants that I definetly should have added to achieve my goal of dining at the best and most significant restaurants in Osaka. So I am hoping for your contributions by passing along recomendations, corrections, replacement advice and general information about my choices or other alernatives that you might think of as helpful.
If anyone should be in Osaka and wants to meet, the most easy spot to find me would be to go to Mille Carresses late evenings or just send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will stay at the Hotel St.Regis.