Osaka too has delicious ingredients! -Osakamon Restaurant SORA-
Osaka, true to its famous “Eat until you drop” saying, has no shortage of excellent restaurants. However, there are not that many stores that would exclusively use local ingredients of Osaka. Osakamon Specialized Restaurant SORA was born from the strong passion to introduce the excellent locally produced ingredients of Osaka. It is right here, where you can enjoy the very best of local and seasonal cuisine.
Osakamon Tenkomori Course Example
・Fried dish or grilled dish
・Assorted sashimi from freshly caught seasonal fish
・Main dish (meat)
・Main dish (fish)
・Closing dish (either the popular original dry curry, or other items from the specialized menu)
・Drink bar (beer, shochu highball, non-alcoholic beverages)
※Every day fresh seasonal ingredients are stocked, therefore the menu changes daily.
What is “Osakamon”
Osakamon refers to products that were exclusively made from agricultural, forest and marine products of Osaka. Osaka has the image of a metropolis, but it was developed as the Mecca of cuisine in Japan and the concept of creating new cuisine is intricately intertwined with the local culture. And yet, the full appeal of the local ingredients is largely unknown to the public, from carefully raised brand livestock, well fed fish hauled from the Osaka Bay rich in feed to local vegetables boasting a centuries-old tradition.
What makes Osakamon Restaurant Sora special
There are 6 stores located in the central area of Osaka. Ingredients for each store are carefully and strictly selected by the owner and stocked directly from the producers. The daily menu may change dramatically based on the state of the ingredients stocked on that day, and this is actually a major highlight of this restaurant. The company was also selected for the Osaka Five-Star Grand Prize, which is awarded to companies that have made a great effort to improve the brand image of Osaka products. They also cooperate with the prefectural government in further spreading the awareness of Osaka products through various events.
◆The only Kuroge Wagyu Beef in Osaka - “Naniwa Kuroushi”
Naniwa Kuroushi beef raised in the city of Hannan in Osaka Prefecture is a very popular beef brand featured in Sora. Normally, castrated bulls are the main source of beef, however the Naniwa Kuroushi beef is unique and the only one in Osaka Prefecture that uses cows with very fine muscle fibers. Its most prominent feature is the melty texture, a result of fattening the cows for more than 30 months as opposed to the standard of 25 months.
▼The beef producer Mr. Matsuda is very particular about his livestock and only offers his stock directly to hotels and Michelin star restaurants.
▼The Naniwa Black Beef on a ceramic plate is excellent, paired with fresh vegetables that soak up the flavor of the meat. (※The cuisine differs each day)
◆Delicious melty daggertooth pike conger
The most noteworthy cuisine at "Sora" is fish-based and changes each day according to the fish available on that day. Especially during the daggertooth conger pike in its peak season is simply exceptional.
Fuke fishing harbor in Misakicho is located near the mountains and the mineral-rich river water enriches the bay water with nutrients. The daggertooth conger pike in its peak season is a true delicacy with its supple fatty flesh. The fish get transported directly to the restaurant every day, so you can enjoy them as fresh as possible.
▼Mr. Endo, a fisherman from the bountiful Fuke fishing harbor in Misakicho
▼Fresh, plump and tender daggertooth pike conger tempura (※The cuisine differs each day)
◆Thick and juicy Senshu eggplant
The fresh vegetables from contracted farmers are made into delicious dishes at Sora as well. The top two vegetables the restaurant is most proud of are the eggplants and onions from Senshu. The eggplants are very juicy and sweet, with soft yet thick flesh and little astringency so they can be enjoyed raw as well.
▼Thick and juicy eggplant from Senshu, surprisingly delicious even if eaten raw (※The cuisine differs each day)
◆Sweet and juicy Senshu onions
Senshu has a long history of growing onions, so much so that it is known as the prime spot for onions in Japan. The Senshu onions are sweet and juicy, with thick yet soft flesh. They are available on the menu at Sora all year around.
▼Mr. Iteya, working hard every day to cultivate the Senshu onions
◆Naniwara Natto - representing Osaka in both name and form
Certified as an Osaka specialty and winner of the Osaka Product PR Ambassador Award, this natto is representative of Osaka in both name and form. It has been made since old times painstakingly by hand and despite its appearance has no overwhelming aroma unlike other natto. Its special characteristic is its rich soybean flavor and mellow aroma. First timers might be in for quite a surprise!
▼Famous natto from Daito (※The cuisine differs each day)
◆Tennoshu - Osaka rice wine store with a long history
Rice wine culture in Osaka was so strong in the Edo Period, that it was referred to as the “Emperors Winery”. Although the number of breweries has decreased, many still continue to produce sake that makes the most of Osaka's climate. Among them, Tennoshu from Kawachinagano has over a 300 year long history. Its flavor is rich and full-bodied, making it very popular among rice wine connoisseurs.
▼Limited edition Sora rice wine is also available at the restaurant.
◆Birthplace of Osaka wine, Katashimo Wine
Sora boasts not only a prime selection of local rice wine, but also an assortment of local wine and craft beers to perfectly match the cuisine.
The Katashimo Winery in Kashiwara was founded in 1915, making it the oldest winery in west Japan. It strives to minimize use of agricultural chemicals and does not use pesticides in its orchards. Instead, it uses organic fertilizer wherever possible.
Its selection includes exquisite wines that were awarded the 2022 Sakura Wine Award as well as the Feminalise Wine Award in Paris.
◆Cuisine made from other seasonal ingredients
▼Salad with bean cheese from Izumisano
▼Deep fried Richard's dragonet, a local Osaka delicacy
▼Kawachi duck by Tsumura
▼Arranged olive flounder sashimi, sent directly from Misakicho
▼The dry curry on the Sora secret menu is the pride of the owner. (each store has a final meal menu available)
The secret of the price
This restaurant is very particular about the high quality of ingredients it stocks, as outlined above. So how come they are able to provide generous servings of excellent cuisine from top grade ingredients at such an affordable price? The secret lies in using “imperfect” ingredients.
The restaurant uses vegetables the shape of which was considered imperfect during the harvest, meat cuts close to the bone that are a bit difficult to prepare properly, in short ingredients that would otherwise be discarded and never make it into circulation. This way, the restaurant is able to keep the costs down and at the same time limits wasting both the food as well as the effort of the producers. Its focus on sustainability is one of its strongest points.
Choose from 3 appealing stores
1. Osakamon SORA Sembaokamishoji Store
The Sembaokamishoji Store is located on the corner of the busy underground restaurant strip of Semba Building. The interior is designed in a relaxing fashion and features a sunken kotatsu seating. The fish cuisine here is highly recommended. Not only are the fish stocked daily, the restaurant has a water tank with fish you can choose from for your meal.
Regular days off: Sundays and holidays
Capacity: 45 seats
Parking: None. Paid parking available in the vicinity.
2. Osakamon SORA Horie Store
The Horie branch store is located in a very practical and popular area a mere 5 minute walk from Shinsaibashi. Leaving the choice of meal to the chef here is highly recommended. Through conversation with the customers the chef gets to know their preferences and adjusts the cuisine accordingly on the fly. This way you can enjoy both a pleasant conversation, as well as an exquisite meal customized to best fit your preferences.
Regular days off: Sundays
Capacity: 30 seats
Parking: None. Paid parking available in the vicinity.
3. Osakamon SORA Namba Komejirushi Store
This restaurant is located in Namba CITY, the very center of the popular Namba area. It has an open terrace, so you can enjoy your meal in quite a refreshing atmosphere. This area is very busy, especially around lunch time. Especially meals using brand beef like the Naniwa Kuroushi, as well as daily lunches using fresh vegetables and fish are very popular. The local rice wine made by local sake breweries, including those made exclusively for the restaurant are also highly recommended.
Regular days off: Irregular days off
Capacity: 45 seats
Parking: Pair parking available in Namba CITY
Each store stocks ingredients carefully selected by the owners, each of whom strongly desire to provide excellent cuisine from real ingredients. Restaurants focused solely on produce from Osaka Prefecture are rather rare and with the menu changing every single day to make the most of seasonal ingredients the restaurants are a great choice for multiple visits. The restaurants are not just particular about the ingredients however, they are also praised for the excellent serving staff, making a visit an overall pleasant experience.