Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Yotaro Honten *deux etoiles michelin* Osaka

Power Nap after some snacks and iced cool berry drinks prepared by dearie butler.
Guess one will never stop snacking whenever u are in Asia, be it in Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia and here in Japan. So while Monkey was zzzz-ing, hobbits were admiring the view of Shinsaibashi - the long kilometres of shopping arcade. But for us it's the food that attracts our presence. This is a great place to stay put for a few days in Osaka, right in St. Regis

after my power nap and a nice hot shower TA-DA!!!!!
so refreshed, JS said can appear in shampoo ads -_-"

we walked to Yotaro Honten, a 2 michelin starred restaurant in Osaka specialised in only tempura. Up and running since 1921, it's an institution here in Osaka and mostly locals know about this place. However reservation is a must and the last reservation is at 7pm for dinner so that the chef can be done by 9pm.

All the fresh ingredients were shown to us, it's more of a sneak peak of wat u gonna have in a very short while. Minimal english were spoken here but that did not deter us from communicating with each other.

JS was so relieved to find no poultry in that wooden box.
Monkey: "Don't worry....." *and pointed to a piece of paper with some hand-written japanese words by our dearie Butler.
JS: "What's that????"

Monkey: "We have the sweetest butler ever....he wrote here...I.don't.like.to.eat.chicken.and.duck"
LOL bahahahahahaahahahaahhaha

JS -_-"
Monkey: "So we just need to lift this paper up and show it, before they serve us anything at the beginning of the meal."

hmmm maybe I should have asked him to do it in a larger size and stick it on a paddle....that would definitely make a statement :D

Owner-chef is a really really serious man who takes no nuisance. He's precise and don't really speak much, even to his Japanese clientele. He's so passionate, that each piece had to be consumed accordingly to his advise. Plus we noticed that Chef is very meticulous and observant, seeing the speed of his diners and prepare their food accordingly.

After each piece is being fried, he will rest the tempura on his lil basket before serving them to you...on a piece of paper...yes...paper..

I lurve their coasters here. Each in their own unique piece and design. It looked so worn out and must have been passed down from generations to generations just like this restaurant. There's some half bottle sized wines, beer and sake sold. I'm not too sure about soft drinks though. Japanese restaurants are really serious, not all will serve your fav drinks aka Coca Cola :D

a small lil appetizer of sea urchin with dried nori seaweed over a few more slices of green shiso leaves.

Then we have a beautiful and fresh platter sashimi of sea bream

served with a ponzu based sauce

underneath those sliced fishes were this "gourd" that was thinly sliced. It has a green apple crunchiness but with a tart sweetness. Very interesting fruit/vegetables.

and our Tempura dinner begin....with a really serious looking piece of tempura prawn. Yotaro Honten is the temple of tempura for tempura purists. If u are expecting the standard type with large pieces of crunchy bits/fritters, to be served with the dipping sauce and some grated daikon....then u will be utterly disappointed.

at Yotaro Honten, it is so pure that it's served with the baked sea salt which was almost in its powderie form. The salt is mild and yet with great length that lingered in our mouth. and bcoz it has been baked numerous times, it is less salty.

As we were bz admiring the piece of beautiful prawn, Chef laid out tempura of sweet summer corns and the house specialty of grounded shrimp sandwich.

the 2 pieces of bread sandwiched the homemade grounded shrimp paste. We were so surprised that there isn't any oil at all in each and every piece of the tempura. JS said the oil has to be at the right temperature so it's cooked and crisp up before it starts to soak in the oil. I guess the batter recipe used is also the secret.

initially we thought this was potatoes, but it was japanese ginger flowers. So refreshing with that crunch and flavours. Love it!!!

it looked quite like Mr. JAWS!!!
So so delicious, from the family of sardine, it has such briny intensity. Yummmssss.

beautiful mushroom with the batter coated it just nicely and snuggly. Not too much but just enuff.

this was quite a bomb....sweet figs. I never had tempura this way :)))

the fish was prepared inside out. This really required some technique and kung fu!!

pieces of thinly cut japanese potatoes. As we were dining, our papers were changed as well.
JS was too bz eyeing the lil table at the back of our counter seat. 2 perfect bowl of homemade pickles were served....he knew his carbo/rice is on its way.
sweet chilis. I wished there's more :)))) slurp.
more prawns and its crispy head. Every single morsel and parts were eaten, including the entire head and its tail.
red bell pepper was pretty good too. Somehow this chef is really clever in ingredients selection.
entire piece of shallots/onions. It's so so so sweet and really hot too. So gotta eat with care!!!

Chef worked in such a zen mode, everything was so relaxed with such beautiful hand gestures. He tossed the ingredients in and added the right amount of batter, mixed it and into the hot oil. 

Ohhhh no wonder the said alwiz save the best for the last....ladies and gentlemen may I present to you the tempura of sliced leeks!!! the sweetness was so yums...this is so so so good. Perfect golden crispiness.

But JS was still looking behind the counter -_-" and then nudged Monkey and said "this is the best-for-the-last dish my dear Monkey."

madame presented a huge claypot, seated on its very own wooden sanctuary.

Oh my~~~~
one whole piece of a beautiful shinning sea bream, cooked on top of fluffy rice and sake. My my my.....this dish is the house speciality and u need to order it at the beginning of the meal as it takes some time to prepare.

after presenting the dish to us, madame then carefully tossed the rice and de-boned the entire fish. Oh my can't get better than this....boneless fish :D:D:D

look at the burnt!!! the yummiest part...and in between the fat fluffy grains u could see flakes of fish. Wat a meal!!!! and the entire pot was just for us...guess who was the happy boy that nite? we could even pack back the remaining portion. If only I have a cat at home, just that I wanted to go snacking again after dinner :D See one can never stop eating here in Japan.

some hot clear dashi broth to further satisfied our already satisfied tummies.

Summer is the season for sweet melons in Japan...you can get it everywhere cheaply and I can't remember how much I've eaten, from ice lollies, to the real fruits, sorbet, candies, and many more. It's also the season for white peach....and when ice blended it's really amazing. Perfect for hot weather!!!

Yotaro Honten is really an institution of tempura, which emphasized more on technicality and fresh ingredients....when u have both, just let it do its job and u will have the best of everything. No words were needed to describe it.

Yotaro Honten *2 Michelin Stars*
2-3-14, Koraibashi,
Osaka 541-0043,
Tel: 06-6231 5561
*would be best to get your hotel to do the reservation

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