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Saturday, July 04, 2015

Yang's Malaysian Food Truck, Sydney

Owner and head chef Alex Wong of Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney

It took Yang's Malaysian Food Truck owner and head chef Alex Wong several career re-starts before he realised that cooking was where he needed to be. Wong enrolled in health science at Sydney University, dropped out and then spent the next five years dabbling in everything from screenwriting to network engineering to a Bachelor of Theology before he put his pen down and started a chef's apprenticeship. Wong tossed the woks at China Doll and rattled the pans at fine dining seafood restaurant Rim Rock Cafe in Whistler before moving onto head chef roles at Chica Bonita in Manly and then Queenies in Surry Hills.

But Wong confesses, "I always wanted a food truck." When he first travelled through the USA, he discovered that "food trucks had the cheapest and tastiest food I'd ever eaten." In April of this year, Wong's food truck, Yang's, hit the streets of Sydney, the first to specialise in Malaysian cuisine.

Chilli soft shell crab with fried mantou from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney

Wong and I go back several years. In those early days, he used to write a food blog. In 2013 we went on holidays to the USA with Suze, three weeks of rampaging gluttony that we dubbed the Great Donut, Fried Chicken and American Barbecue Tour. He'd often talked about his desire to own and run his own food truck. Watching a friend's dream transpire into reality has been pretty surreal.

Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Pitt Street Mall Sydney
Yang's Malaysian Food Truck parked at Pitt Street Mall

Yang's has been up and running for about three months by the time I finally visit with Suze. The truck tends to move between Surry Hills, Circular Quay, Wynyard and Zetland (download the Sydney Food Trucks app or follow Yang's on Instagram or Facebook for up-to-date locations). Tonight the truck has taken up camp at the King Street end of Pitt Street Mall.

Chef Tina Nguyen taking orders for Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Chef Tina Nguyen taking orders

Chef Tina Nguyen (ex-Bentley and ex-Aria) is the cheerful face at the order counter. She's warm but efficient, and happy to explain each dish to anyone unfamiliar with Malaysian food.

Chef Lyly Nguyen in the kitchen inside Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Chef Lyly Nguyen in the truck's onboard kitchen

Wong works with chef Lyly Nguyen (ex-China Doll and ex-Lotus) in the kitchen. The truck's commercial fit-out - designed by Wong himself - is impressive. Wong admits it's bigger than a lot of restaurant kitchens he's worked in before.

Roti, Ramli slider, nasi lemak, maggi goreng and more from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
One of everything, please

The menu is more comprehensive than you'd expect, a shopping list of eight options with the most expensive item topping out at $9 - the chilli soft shell crab. We order one of everything - except the roti with curry sauce - and even then our bill only comes to $46.

Soft shell crab with chilli sauce and mantou from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Soft shell crab with chilli sauce and mantou $9

The soft shell crab with chilli sauce and mantou is fast becoming Yang's signature dish. It's far and away the most Instagrammed item, a stunning spectacle of battered soft shell crab tangled over a golden mantou bun in a puddle of chilli sauce.

Inside the deep fried mantou bun from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Fluffy mantou bun with a deep fried shell

It's a combination that works a treat. The fresh sweetness of the crab interplays with the aromatic spices in the chilli sauce, the crunch of the crab contrasts with the pillowy softness of the deep fried mantou bun. Wong says he preps 50 soft shell crabs a day.

Roti chicken with sweet potato from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Roti chicken with sweet potato $7

Roti, the Malaysian staple of ethereally light and flaky pastry, is usually torn into pieces and dipped into curry. Wong gets around the whole eating-with-one-hand-dance by ladling chicken curry into the roti like a taco. It makes for much easier consumption. Cubes of sweet potato add a sweet mellow to the chick curry. A sprinkle of fresh coriander and a tumble of deseeded and diced cucumber and tomato give a element of freshness against the spices.

Hainan hot wings with chilli sauce and ginger from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Hainan hot wings $5

It's finger food ahoy with the Hainan hot wings too. Wong does away with the need for rice by deep-frying the wings and serving them with a generous splodge of chilli sauce and smashed ginger shallot oil. The wings on their own are quite mild in flavour - just like Hainan chicken - but they transform into a different beast once you drag it through the ginger and chilli. Compact wedges of deseeded cucumber act as palate cleansers.

Ramli beef slider from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Ramli beef slider $5

The Ramly Burger might not mean much to Sydneysiders, but for Malaysians, it's the much beloved street burger, adding onions, egg, cabbage and mayonnaise to a typical chicken or beef burger. Wong puts his own spin on his version, called the Ramli beef slider. The soft Breadtop bun holds a hot gooey mess of beef patty, fried egg, cabbage, chilli sauce and melted cheese. It's a two-napkin affair, especially to get that last dribble of HP sauce off the bottom of your chin.

One spoon chicken laksa from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
One spoon chicken laksa $7

Wong gives the classic laksa a food truck makeover too, transforming this usual sit-down affair to a stand-up version, cutting the noodles short and piling everything into a towering insulated cup. The one spoon chicken laksa is a brilliant idea in theory but the narrowness of the cup does mean you're dictated into eating the laksa according to how it's been layered. Tonight it means a thick strata of chicken at the top progressing to chunks of tofu and then the majority of noodles - two kinds, a wide noodle and a vermicelli - stuffed down at the bottom.

The laksa is more of a curry laksa instead of the coconut milk laksa most favoured in Sydney food courts. It's super thick and hearty, like a full-sized bowl distilled into a one-handed energy meal.

Nasi lemak from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Nasi lemak $6

In Malaysia, traditional nasi lemak is wrapped up in a triangular parcel of pandan leaves. Wong saves you the hassle of unwrapping your meal by piling it into a box so you can pick your way through rice, boiled egg, sambal chilli paste, crunchy anchovies and roasted peanuts with ease. This one might feel a light little on the protein for the hungry, but it works well as a side dish.

Maggi goreng from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Maggi goreng with egg $7

I have a soft spot for the Maggi goreng, because two minute noodles with sweet soy sauce and a fried egg is my kinda jam. The noodles still have some bite, the sweet soy is kicked up with a squiggle of chilli sauce, and shallots, cucumber, tomato and choy sum provide enough greens to convince you this is truly something healthy.

A&W root beer from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
A&W root beer $3

Yang's does Malaysian coffee (kopi-o), tea (teh tarik or strong tea with condensed milk) and Milo. The Milo comes hot or cold - the Milo dinousaur is an iced Milo with extra Milo on top. But sometimes all you need is an A&W root beer to really take you back to the steamy and humid hawker markets of Kuala Lumpur.

Yang's Malaysian Food Truck parked at Harmony Park in Surry Hills, Sydney
Yang's parked at Harmony Park in Surry Hills

It only takes three words for me to hunt down Yang's a week later in Surry Hills. Mamee Fried Chicken is an irresistible lure.

Yang's Malaysian Food Truck menu
Yang's menu on the day

Customers lining up at Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Early customers before the pre-lunchtime crowd

There's a different feel to the food truck by day. At night it's an illuminated beacon on the horizon. Parked beneath the dappled sunshine at midday, it's not so obvious but for the snaking queue that will swell during the peak lunchtime period.

Mamee fried chicken from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Mamee fried chicken $7 for three pieces

Scoring my order with a packet of the familiar Mamee Monster noodles from my childhood is far more exciting than it should be. Wong shoves in three pieces of fried chicken inside the packet with a crumble of noodles. In the main container is a generous dollop of sriracho mayo.

Mamee fried chicken with Mamee noodles from Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Fried Mamee noodle garnish

The packet presentation is cute but it's much more practical to dump everything out into your container. Grab a chicken wing, smother it in sriracho mayo and then try and pick up as many Mamee noodle bits are you can.

Was it good? You bet. The buttermilk chicken is super juicy, the crunch on the batter is reassuringly loud, and the sriracho mayo is creamy and spicy with an unexpected lift from finely shredded kaffir lime leaves. And then there's the brittle shatter of Mamee noodles. The entire combo is so damn good that after I finish I immediately get up and order another one.

The Mammee fried chicken special was only on for two days but I reckon if the public hassle him enough, Wong might just put it back on the menu.

Owner and head chef Alex Wong of Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Chef Alex Wong 

10 Questions with Chef Alex Wong

1. What was the journey like to get to Yang's truck as it is today?

I was the first one of the new trucks to get pre-approval to build the truck when the City of Sydney released 40 new permits in 2014. I really wanted it ready for the summer of 2014/15 but delays in truck build, sorting out a fixed location to cook out of, truck storage etc took even longer so by the time I was ready, summer and the peak business for food trucks had passed.

I originally wanted more of an "Asian street food truck" theme which would give me a lot more creative licence, but the food truck manager at City of Sydney Council advised that to get pre-approval with the Council it was probably wiser to go for a specific cuisine. Malaysian was the easy choice - going back to the food from my childhood and my roots made menu planning really easy.

The menu is based on street food I loved eating growing up in Malaysia, combined with the eating style and vibe of the trucks in the States. I really wanted the food to be practical. When you're eating it off the side of the road, you need to make sure that everything is designed so you can to hold in one hand and eat with the other!

In April 2015 I finally got the truck up and running. There have been a lot of lessons learnt so far but there's still a lot more learning and growing!

2. What makes Yang's different from everyone else?

It's Malaysian food approached with a real "street" vibe. I was worried that Malaysians especially wouldn't get the way I was presenting the food  - they are the Italians of the East after all! The food has its twists, but the vibe is as authentic as you can get: generator noise, eating off the side of the road in the open... it's just like the markets in Malaysia!

3. Who is Yang?

I am Yang! My Chinese name is Wong Rui Yang. My mum, grandparents, cousins and relatives in Malaysia all called me Yang (the 'a' is pronounced 'ah'). I used to be embarrassed when mum would call me that in public so I told her that. Then she started yelling "Alexander!" in public. That was more embarrassing. So I told her Yang was fine.

Head chef Alex Wong working onboard Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Working on the truck

4. What's the biggest misconception people have about food trucks?

That the food is fast, cheap and big. They also think burgers and fried food, so a lot of people stare at the menu and think "Oh, it's just Malaysian food". We're producing restaurant quality product that we would like to cook to order so, especially when there's a line, you can be waiting 5-15 (at worst) minutes for your food.

The other misconception is that running a truck is cheaper than owning a restaurant. I would say in most cases it's more expensive! More insurances, more maintenance costs (truck AND kitchen), the need to have a fixed kitchen to cook from before loading it on your other kitchen (the truck) and council fees. And then you charge less for your food because of the misconception that you should be cheaper because you're a truck - if you don't charge cheaper rates they'd prefer to just eat at a restaurant/cafe.

And there's also a misconception that they're dirty. Food trucks go through more stringent health inspections than restaurants! Tip to food trucks - keep the kitchen spotless because customers notice!

5. What's the best thing about running a food truck?

New customer reactions and meeting the regulars. I love it when someone is genuinely enjoying the food, and being there to watch that moment. When a guy orders the cheapest thing on the menu just to try it out, then proceeds to order two more of it or the rest of the menu!

I love engaging with my regulars, especially when I'm in the suburbs and I have time to look after them - I use them as my sample group when I want to try new items for the menu!

6. And the hardest thing?

The driving. The fact that so many things can go wrong because you're at so many different places: flat tire, dead batteries, water pump or generator conking out, traffic, road accidents...

Owner and head chef Alex Wong of Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney
Seasoning the deep fried soft shell crab

7. Most spectacular disaster so far?

First day. Walsh Bay. There was a massive line up, the fryer didn't work and we already had 10 dockets before we were even ready. I was pan frying crab, we didn't pack enough food and no one really knew what they were doing. It was a total sh*tfight in the kitchen. One customer waited 20 minutes for a roti and I didn't have it. It's our only 1 star review on Facebook. I'mm still offering that customer a free meal if she wants to come back and try again.

8. Biggest lesson learnt?

You can't make everybody happy. Food is food and when you're doing it differently, you're bound to find someone who doesn't like something, but someone else will love it.

9. How do you see the Sydney food truck scene and where do you think it's headed?

It needs to grow out of the city. The food trucks moving out to the inner west are absolutely killing it - shout outs to Mister Gee's and Happy as Larry with their awesome food. City of Sydney gave us a platform to start but it's really up to the operators to think outside the box about where we're serving.

I'd really like to see a "food truck park" where we can all pull up on a plot of land and people come, choose their truck of choice and eat on picnic benches. That's the dream but it'll take a lot of business owners with different visions coming together to make it happen. Or a council to just build one and approach operators. Whichever comes first.

10. What can we expect to see next from Yang's? 

Yang's is opening a restaurant this year in Castlecrag. It won't be solely Malaysian but more modern Asian tapas and noodle soups.

For the truck, we'd like it to be more fun eating with Yang's. I'm planning something bigger than just lunches in the city... think red stools and badminton nets. I'm just hunting down the right location for it. We want people to hang around, create an atmosphere and make it fun!

Head chef Alex Wong working onboard Yang's Malaysian Food Truck in Sydney

Note: Grab Your Fork is friends with Alex Wong from Yang's Food Truck. All items in this post were personally paid for. No bribes were exchanged.

Yang's Malaysian Food Truck changes its schedule weekly. It tends to frequent:
Pyrmont - Metcalfe Park
Surry Hills - Harmony Park
Sydney CBD - Pitt St Mall
Sydney CBD - Queens Square, near Hyde Park
Sydney CBD - Walsh Bay
Sydney CBD - Wynyard Park
Zetland - Joynton Park

Download the Sydney Food Trucks app or follow Yang's on Instagram or Facebook for up-to-date locations.

Click to add a blog post for Yang's Malaysian Food Truck on Zomato

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Sydney food trucks: Mister Gee, Burwood
Sydney food trucks: Knafeh Jersualem Street Food

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/04/2015 04:30:00 p.m.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Okonomiyaki, Kuromon Ichiba Market and all-you-can-eat Gyukaku Yakiniku barbecue, Osaka

Cooking takoyaki octopus balls at Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan

You can't visit Osaka without eating takoyaki. You'll find this classic Osaka street food everywhere, its production a show in itself as the takoyaki warriors spin, flick and stab each puddle of batter until they emerge as perfectly round orbs in a deep golden brown.

Inside the crisp shell is a jumble of chopped octopus, pickled red ginger and finely sliced shallots. Most of the time you'll end up burning your tongue as you bite into each ball, but that's half the fun.

Takoyaki octopus balls at Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan
Takoyaki octopus balls from Takoyaki Wanaka

We almost burn our fingers just holding this sailing boat of piping hot takoyaki, or octopus balls, from famous takoyaki outlet Takoyaki Wanaka. Lashings of Kewpie mayonnaise, a huge mound of katsuoboshi dried bonito flakes and a good dousing of fruity takoyaki sauce add creaminess, texture and a gentle fishiness. It's the kind of fast food you can shovel down on your own or hover around in a circle with friends, each armed with a toothpick.

Mapping our travels from Nara to Osaka, Japan
Travelling from Nara to Osaka

We made our way from Osaka from Kyoto, after a detour to see the wild deer in Nara. It's only 43km between Kyoto and Osaka, and the shinkansen will get you there in precisely 14 minutes.

Giant puffer fish above the crowds on Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
Giant puffer fish above the crowds along Dotonbori

Osaka has historically been known as the "nation's kitchen", primarily due to its central significance as a merchant city, especially for rice. Perhaps that's also why Osakans are known across the country for their appetite for food. Osakans love to eat and drink.

Giant nigiri sushi on Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
Giant nigiri sushi

Every tourist gravitates toward Dotonbori, a pedestrian mall that runs for several blocks filled with no end of restaurants. It's here you'll find the giant moving crabs above seafood restaurants, huge puffer fish lanterns and monster-sized nigiri sushi, like a food version of Godzilla.

Glico running man sign on Ebisu-bashi bridge on Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
The famous 33m tall Glico running man sign on Ebusu-bashi bridge

And everyone needs a photo of the Glico running man, originally installed in 1935, and an iconic image of Osaka by night.

Everyday crowds at Shinsaibashi, Osaka, Japan
Everyday crowds at Shinsaibashi

The city streets can feel claustrophobic in Osaka, the second biggest city in Japan with a metropolitan population close to 19 million. The crowds we encountered at Shinsaibashi, the main shopping area of Osaka, made us feel like we were in the middle of a New Years Eve crush. It was just an ordinary weekend in an ocean of people.

DON Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki at DON, Osaka, Japan

We end up at DON Okonomiyaki randomly. We're hungry, we want okonomiyaki and DON is the first place we find. Our okonomiyaki is cooked to order in the downstairs kitchen and then served on our table grill, turned on to medium so our cabbage pancakes remain hot as we eat.

The DON special okonomiyaki in Osaka, Japan
The DON special okonomiyaki with pork and seafood 1380 yen / AU$15.20

The DON special is so over the top we have to have it, a shuddering behemoth of octopus, bacon, plump prawns and a genuine crab claw.

Beef and cheese okonomiyaki at DON in Osaka, Japan
Beef and cheese okonomiyaki 1000 yen / AU$11.00

I share in the beef and cheese okonomiyaki too, the cheese melting into rivers of molten goo.

Spicy pork okonomiyaki at DON in Osaka, Japan
Spicy pork okonomiyaki 1080 yen / AU$11.80

Others dig into the spicy pork okonomiyaki, liberally slathered with a fiery chilli sauce that triggers noticeable sweating.

Mini okonomiyaki shovel at DON in Osaka, Japan
Mini shovels to cut up your okonomiyaki

Everyone gets chopsticks and a shovel-shaped spatula to cut your okonomiyaki into manageable pieces.

Inside the beef and cheese okonomiyaki at DON in Osaka, Japan
Inside the beef and cheese okonomiyaki

The toppings across the top are similar to takoyaki: katsuoboshi shaved bonito, a fruity okonomiyaki sauce and several shakes of dried seaweed flakes.

Crab nigiri sushi in Osaka, Japan
Crab nigiri sushi

On another night we end up in a random sushi train joint, loading up on cheap plates of sushi. We dabble through the usual salmon, raw scallop, tuna and crab until we spot a particularly odd looking plate of sushi that looks like raw beef but not.

Basashi horse sushi in Osaka, Japan

It takes a couple of charade actions with the chef to confirm that yes, it's basashi or horse sashimi, a raw meat and fat duo obtained from the neck. I give it a go in the name of gastronomic openness. The meat is lean and strong in flavour. The fat is thick, hard and chewy that I have to eventually swallow in large chunks just to get it down. It's wildly different to anything I've ever eaten before.

Making egg tarts at Lord Stow's Bakery in Osaka, Japan
Making egg tarts at Lord Stow's Bakery

On a late night wander through Dotonbori we stumble upon Lord Stow's Bakery, a famous egg tart bakery started by Englishman, Andrew Stow, in Macau.

Egg tarts at Lord Stow's Bakery in Osaka, Japan
Egg tarts at Lord Stow's Bakery

Based on the Portuguese egg tart so popular in Macau, Andrew is said to have added his own English touch to local recipes. The bakery hit such stratospheric popularity it has now expanded to Japan and the Philippines.

Egg tarts at Lord Stow's Bakery in Osaka, Japan
Takeaway egg tarts from Lord Stow's Bakery 167 yen / AU$1.85

We find the pastry isn't as noisily crunchy and flaky as some of the Portuguese tarts you can get in Sydney, but the custard is super eggy, with an elegantly smooth and silky mouthfeel. They're also modestly priced too, at less than AU$2 each.

Mango Calpis soda from a Japanese vending machine in Osaka
Mango Calpis soda

And in the continuing adventures of random drinks from Japanese vending machines, I get my hands on a bottle of mango calpis soda - like fizzy mango yoghurt! -

Grape Fanta from a Japanese vending machine in Osaka
Grape Fanta

and a can of grape Fanta that tastes just like liquid bubblegum.

Umaibo corn puffs at Don Quixote on Dotonbori, Osaka, Japan
Umaibo corn puffs at Don Quixote

If I'd had the luggage space, I would have bought one of the giant bags of umaibo, hollow cylindrical corn puffs that are favourites with Japanese school kids. The corn potage flavour is so good!

Plastic sushi displays at Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street, Osaka, Japan
Plastic sushi displays at Sennichimae Doguyasuji Shopping Street

And if I'd had more money, I'd have bought one of these plastic sushi displays from Sennichimae Doguyasuji, the kitchen alley of Osaka lined with crockery shops, kitchenware stores and everything in-between.

Kuromon Ichiba Market

Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan

It can be hard to kill time between meals so we often ended up at markets, ironically looking at more food while waiting to get hungry again. Kuromon Ichiba is only a stone's throw from Sennichimae Doguyasuji, and one of Osaka's oldest markets having been established in the early 1900s.

Baked sweet potatoes at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Baked sweet potatoes

About 170 stalls run its 600-metre length. It covers everything from raw seafood to fruit and vegetables to tofu.

Baby octopus at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Baby octopus

Uni sea urchin roe at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Uni sea urchin roe

Fresh tofu and sesame tofu at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Fresh tofu and sesame tofu

Horumon beef offal stew at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Horumon beef offal stew

Fugu puffer fish at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Fugu puffer fish

Rockmelons at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan

Bitter melon at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Bitter melon

Mountain yams at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Mountain yams

Fresh wasabi at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Fresh wasabi

Marbled rosu beef loin at Kuromon Ichiba Market in Osaka, Japan
Marbled beef loin for sukiyaki or shabu shabu

Gyukaku Yakiniku

Cooking ox tongue at Gyakaku Yakiniku in Osaka, Japan
Ox tongue

We walked a lot during our Japan holiday. Maybe that's why we often ended up so ravenous all we could think of was meat. And that's where all-you-can-eat yakiniku came in. Oh yeah.

Beef short ribs and beef loin at Gyakaku Yakiniku in Osaka, Japan
[front] Karubi beef short ribs and rosu beef loin

Gyukaku Yakiniku is one of the biggest yakiniku or Japanese barbecue chains in the country. There are about 800 outlets across Japan. They're also open in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taipei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

We go for the premium buffet menu which gives us unlimited orders of over 100 dishes for 3580 yen or AU$39.40 in a 2.5 hour period. And oh boy do we eat.

Cooking beef loin and prawns over charcoal at Gyakaku Yakiniku in Osaka, Japan
Rosu beef loin and prawns on the charcoal barbecue

We indulge in a massive protein fest, searing seafood and meat over glowing coals of charcoal.

Cooking chicken with mixed cheese fondue at Gyakaku Yakiniku in Osaka, Japan
Chicken with mixed cheese fondue

The marinated chicken with cheese fondue - a foil cup of grated cheese that you melt over the grill - is dangerously tasty.

Scallops with butter at Gyakaku Yakiniku in Osaka, Japan
Scallops with butter

And whoah, did we go to town on the scallop orders. If the restaurant made minimal profits that day, it was probably due to our voracious appetites.

Hokkaido Cremia premium soft cream soft serve in front of Osaka Castle, Japan
Hokkaido Cremia premium soft cream in front of Osaka Castle 500 yen / AU$5.50

And sure we did non-food touristing. We made it to Osaka Castle... where we ate ice cream. The Hokkaido Cremia is noted not just for its trademark vertical piping, but also its presentation in a langue de chat cats tongue wafer.

Hokkaido milk gives an unparalleled richness. We think it's a little reminiscent of cream cheese with its lingering tang. It's super creamy, and just what we need as we stretch our legs before we head off to our next meal...

Dotonbori in Osaka, Japan

Grab Your Fork on Radio National

And in case you missed it, I was on Radio National on Monday talking with host David Mackenzie about the demise of Sizzler and what this says about Australia's changing dining habits.

The podcast for this show is currently available online here. You'll have to fast forward to the 50:40 mark to get to my segment. Meantime I'll be making myself some Sizzler cheese toast.

<< Read the first Japan 2015 post: Toyama black ramen and firefly squid

DON Okonomiyaki
3 Chome-2-33 Nanba, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan 542-0076
Tel: +81 (06) 6643 6578

Gyukaku Yakiniku
1-6-10 Dotombori Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan 542-0071
Tel: +81 (06) 6484 0129
Open daily 5pm-5am (last order 4am)
Weekends and public holidays also open 11.30am-3.30pm

Kuromon Ichiba Market
2-4-1 Nippombashi, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan 542-0073
Open daily 9am-evening (varies for each shop)

Lord Stow's Bakery
1-10-6 Dotonobori, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan 542-0071
Tel: +81 (06) 6214 3699
Open daily 10am-12 midnight

Sennichimae Dogusuji-Ya Shopping Street
542-00075 around Nambasennichimae, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan
Open daily 9am-8pm (varies for each shop)

Takoyaki-Douraku Wanaka
3-7-24 Namba, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan 542-0076
Open daily 10am-10pm

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 7/02/2015 12:58:00 a.m.

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