OSAKA｜Kuromon Market - LOCAL TIPS AND ADVICE
If you are a foodie going to Japan, you probably are considering a visit to Osaka because, as you may already know, Osaka is the city to EAT!
Kuromon Ichiba is the most well-known food market in Osaka. Paolo and I took a weekend trip to Osaka and instantly fell in love with this place when we visited.
In this blog, I would like to show you how it's like and what to eat at Kuromon Ichiba Market, A.K.A. 'Kitchen of Osaka'.
- What's Kuromon Ichiba?
- What to eat
- Tourist Friendly
- What to see
WHAT'S KUROMON ICHIBA?
Since Kuromon Ichiba is only 5 minutes walk from Namba, you might think it's a type of tourist traps. The answer is no. Chefs from local sushi restaurants and even Michelin restaurants go there to pick up ingredients and many regular locals shop there too. I cannot deny that there are many tourists, but it still has not lost the feeling of a neighborhood market.
Also unlikely Tsukiji Market, there are various shops where you can buy food and eat in front. (It's hard to find these places in Tsukiji.) You will feel more comfortable at Kuromon than Tsukiji because the market caters both wholesale and retail.
According to EXPLORE OSAKA ACE CUBE, Kuromon now has 191 stores of fishmongers, butchers, greengrocers and other boutiques. You just need to remember that most of stores are closed on Sundays. Business hours differs stores to stores but most of them opens around 9am and close around 6pm.
WHAT TO EAT
I must say the number 1 priority of your snack choice is seafood. I'm not going to lie that the price is not cheap but if you think about the seafood you can get at Kuromon is even fresher than what you get at local seafood restaurant, it is pretty reasonable.
PLEASE PLEASE TRY IT! The giant Japanese fresh oysters are the best. They will prepare in front of you. We liked Nishikawa Sengyo(西川鮮魚店) because the staff were super friendly and have a counter with all kinds of sauce for oyster.
Eating fresh seafood with rice is just going to fulfill your foodie needs. I mean it does to mine! My recommendation for you is Erande Don（えらんで丼）at Fukahiro（深廣）. You can basically choose what you want to eat as a topping from fresh seafood baskets, and they will prepare with rice for you. Since one fish or prawns are too big and expensive for one person, it is good to share. If you are going alone or 2 people, getting a set price bowl will be a better deal.
Many Seafood stores have a grill basket for a set price around ¥3,000-¥5,000. You choose the one you like and they will cook it so you can enjoy the smell while you wait!
Bafun Uni(seaur chin)
There are mainly 2 types of uni - Murasaki(purple) and Bafun(horse-dung). As far as I know, you can't find Bafun uni often in other countries but in Japan. I love Bafun uni because it is a lot creamier and sweeter than Murasaki.
How can you tell which one to buy at the market? The one doesn't have long spikes and looking like horse-dung is bafun. Not that hard.
I'm not really into crabs and eels so I'm not really talking about it here but if you like them you should definitely try!
Don't worry. Seafood is not the only things that are good there. Wagyu Kun(和牛くん) is one of the shops that offers a eat-in space in the back of the shop.
I'm not a big fan of oden but Paolo loves oden so I tried the one he got... and IT WAS SUPER GOOD! It is super soft and juicy. Quality of fish cakes here are so good that the taste is just on another level.
Takoyaki Wakana was chosen for Michelin Buruglin Bib Gourmand. We all know their takoyaki is extremely good but try their takosen - hot and creamy takoyaki is sandwiched with thin crispy rice crackers. Crispness of the crackers and the juice of takoyaki create such a beautiful harmony. There is only one takoyaki store in the main street so you won't miss it.
Kuromon Ichiba has a great Information Center where you can get a free guidebooks, bathroom and free wi-fi spot. You can use this space to eat the food you bought in the market too.
What to see
If possible, I recommend going there in the morning around 8:30-9:00, not evening. Why? Because there are less people and you can watch all the shops getting ready to open. It's cool to see something not ordinary like fishmongers prepares the ice bed by sprinkling salt over it and putting a live fish into sleep with one needle. You will learn many new things there.
I hope you will enjoy your time at Kuromon. Let me hear what you guys thought or what other things you liked about it there.
Address 〒542-0073 1-15-6 Nippombashi, Chuo-ku, OsakaCity
Holidays : differs shop to shop (but many are closed on Saturdays)
Closest Station: Subway Sakaisuji Line Nihonbahsi Station (exit 5)