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First local Japanese food experience – sukiyaki: Restaurant Hokuto Gems Namba (8. March 2020)

| March 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

It’s apparently not always entirely easy to find the good places to eat when you’re in Japan. The Hokuto Gems Namba for example is located in a building which is full of restaurants but isn’t much advertised from the outside. So, you kind of have to know that there is something like a restaurant building. The Hokuto Gems Namba is located on the 2nd floor and once you’ve left the elevator, you’re entering the restaurant right away.

English – much to my surprise – isn’t really the country’s strongest point and I had a bit of a challenge initially to figure out what you can eat here but figured quickly it’s something called “sukiyaki” which is basically a hot plate on which you cook/ boil things. I went for the “extra large quality beef sukiyaki” (2’490 Yen) which is probably a poor translation for “high quality meat” which comes with tomatoes, a lot of vegetables and tofu.

Then, you put some soy-sauce-like sauce called ‘Warishita’ (see below) into the hot plate and wait until it boils. Once that’s achieved, you’re ready to put your meat and your veggies in there to cook them according to your liking.

And once the things are cooked, you get to dip them in a “meringue egg” which is basically whipped egg white and an egg yolk which you mix to dip. I was a bit skeptical at first but it turns out that it’s actually quite a tasty combination and definitely something I can recommend you to try.

If you want to enjoy the broth (which is in the end absolutely lovely in terms of flavor) due to the intensity of the boiled meat and the boiled vegetables, you should order “finishing Udon” (290 Yen) which is basically noodles you can boil in that broth. And it’s delicious!

Given that it is not really a self-explanatory concept, they provide you with instructions on how to use the sukiyaki – luckily so. But, we have to be fair here, the waiter was super nice and prepared the initially round so we wouldn’t look like complete idiots!

The “Warishita” sauce is only poured initially and after that you pour water when the broth has evaporated to a large degree.

In order to make your initial waiting time not too long, they provide you with some kind of chips to start which are quite lovely (although I was not entirely able to figure what kind of flavor it is).

The seating is nice as you can score seats right by the windows making sure you’d actually see something …

… of the city in front of you. Given you’re only on the 2nd floor though, it’s not that much you get to see.

The place isn’t large but appealing and very comfortable and there weren’t too many tourists but mainly locals.

All in all, the first evening in Japan was a positive experience as the food was nice, the waiter was friendly and helpful, the atmosphere was appealing, and the prices were fine too. The only thing you have to keep in mind is the 10% Service Charge which is added on top of the actual bill automatically as well as potentially applicable taxes (of 10%).


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Contact Details:

Restaurant Hokuto Gems Namba

7F Gems Namba Building

3 Chome-7-19 Namba Chuo-Ku

539-0000 Osaka (JP)

Tel.: +81 6 65 67 99 60

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
6'985 Yen (incl. tip) Filed in: Osaka (JP), Restaurants

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