[TRAVELOGUE] OSAKA- TSURUTOTAN… MORE THAN JUST UDON

This isn’t my first review on Tsurutotan. I’d raved about their awesome Udon a couple of years back in a short snippet review. I’ve chosen them to kickstart the Osaka leg of our trip… but this time round, with their exquisite Kaiseki Dinner course which impressed from taste to presentation. When you’ve got a good product on your hands, there is no need to be overly fancy. We started our meal with a small portion of Tsurutotan’s prized homemade cold Udon, served with a light Tsuyu dip with chopped scallions, minced ginger and a raw quail’s egg mixed in. Tsurutotan’s Udon is top class, whether you have it thick or thin. It is cooked perfectly, not al dente like pasta, nor soft like mush. It has a texture that’s smooth and fine, a little springy with subtle saltiness. This small starter portion was a real tease. It was refreshing and tasty, worked up our appetites nicely and had everyone yearning for just a little bit more.

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Starters include a double decker platter of small bites.
There was a little potato, fried to a light crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.
A beautifully marinated duck breast meat, tender to the bite with a little block of firmly chilled Tamago and lightly roasted Shishito pepper that’s more sweet than spicy.

A good size Ebi and a chilled Spinach salad topped with Ikura.

A little vinegary seaweed to cleanse the palate. This zesty stirred up my appetite nice and good too! 
I really enjoyed the marinated Aji. The fish was firm and super flavorful.
Finished with a favorite of mine, that’s usually available seasonally. Fresh, creamy Shirako. Cod Milt in a Vinaigrette Konbu dressing.

Following the platter was the Sashimi No Moriawase. Consisting thick cuts of Maguro, Sake and Hamachi. Needless to say they were melt-in-the-mouth fresh!The Braised Pork Belly drew “Ooos and ahhhs…” from the crowd. Many of us Asians grew up and grow old with this classic dish. The Japanese version is sweeter but we love it just as much. The meat was tender to the bite and that little dab of mustard adds a little kick in the mouth! The accompanying daikon had also absorbed that wonderful braising liquid. It was soft to the bite but not mushy, and had a mix of sweet, salty and bitter aftertaste which balances the fattiness of the pork belly. We were dying for some white rice to wipe down that glossy gravy. And we did! Gohan (rice) all round!!! The final dish was a combo of Fried Mushrooms, Fried Leeks and Fried Fish Head. Never mind the mushrooms and leeks. That fish though!? OISHIIII!!! First of all, the seasoning is two thumbs up! Perfectly salty and fried to a light crispy finish. Despite fish head parts being used, they were fleshy with large bone blades. So it’s not ‘dangerous’ to eat. While most were too full or lazy to deal with boney fish, I got down with all ten fingers, silently cleaning out my plate and others’! I was definitely a cat in my past life! The Kaiseiki course finished with a scoop of homemade Strawberry Ice Cream. Something about the fruits and milk of Japan, they make such great desserts. This ice cream was basic but yummy and certainly does not pale next to Salted Caramel Banana Crunch Chocolate Truffle Cookie and Dough (or one of those fancy pants ice creams!). Tsurutotan is popularly packed during lunch. And it’s even more crowded in the evenings. I try to go after peak hours for their famous Udons (which I did a couple of days later!). But if you’d like something more, their Kaiseiki courses are definitely worth checking out.

Their website shows there are 6 Tsurutotan branches in Osaka and another 6 in Tokyo. So it won’t be hard to track one down!

Tsurutotan Souemon Cho @ 3-17 Majima-cho, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi 542-0084 Osaka. Phone 06-6211-002

Disclaimer- This is not a sponsored post.

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