ODEN | 万ん卯 (Man U)

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Not particularly impressed by the sushi joint from the same group two years ago here in Osaka, coming back deliberately to try out this much recommended one-starred establishment, a bit of an odd ball being an Oden place. Still recalled a pretty enjoyable encounter some years ago at a kind of ‘hole in the wall’ place inside a rather run down business building in Ginza, though it didn’t come cheap, this one here turned out, thankfully as expected, a much more poshed version of it, and indeed, more like a mini kaiseki place with most of its dishes served in a delicate broth.

Caught a bit off guard by dishes like shark fins served in a mini clay pot, more to justify the price tag of the omakase course probably, the seasonal oysters and bamboo shoots that came after were indeed of high end omakase quality and the warm Oden broth on a cold winter night served it really well indeed. Also worth specific mentioning is the minced shrimp ball, with the crunchy dried micro shrimps inside really added life to the dish and was certainly a welcoming first to LG who thought he was thoroughly brought up by minced balls of every kind already.

Said to be brought to Kansai first after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923 and then ‘re-exported’ back into Kanto, Kansai style Oden has always been said to be richer in favour, offering more non-vegetarian protein based ingredients in a much more complex broth. Indeed the broth seemed to be the soul here as well and offerings like sweet potatoes with tiny cubes of butter on it, probably seen as a big no no in the East, was a big hit!

A traditional environment no doubt, echoed by its rather ‘senior and local’ clientele seen on the night, it is probably a good entry level place for those that would like to have a more ‘high end’ Oden experience.

Interesting enough, the place is actually more famous among the locals with its lunch time Oyakodon. One to remember for your next trip.

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