Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nakano-ya なかの家 Osaka: Family-friendly Izakaya Restaurant

I always have a list of food places that I want to go for any holidays but Nakano House is an exception. It happened to be located at the restaurant dining floor of Abeno Harukas and online reviews on tabelog were quite good. After doing a quick research, I found out that this Osaka-originated restaurant is like an upscale izakaya that sells a wide variety from seafood to rice bowls. 
Perhaps let me jumped to my conclusion first. The food is good, cheap and the ambience is excellent because the seatings  are divided into compartments so diners can enjoy some private space. I am usually skeptical about restaurants in department stores as they are rather mediocre and expensive. However, I would gladly recommend anyone to visit any of their 6 outlets in Osaka. 

From the "creative dishes" menu, we had the tofu and vegetable gratin, which was rich yet not overwhelming because the cream is made of tofu. The Simmered Pork Belly (¥780) is a must-try; soft tender and not too fatty. The flavoured egg is one of the most beautifully cooked ones that I've seen and it tasted fantastic.
Both the Daikon Salad and Hourenso (Spinach) with Onsen Egg Salad would replenish the necessary greens but I prefer the Onsen Egg because it has a more distinct Shoyu dressing.
We also had the Sashimi Platter of the day (¥2800) in which the seafood is sourced from a local port. 
If you can read Japanese it will be good because this place actually has a daily special menu printed on an A3 size paper, with a date written at the side. We had the steamed clams with sake and the Shio-Yaki (salt grill) chicken which has to be grilled by yourself. We always go for chicken dishes because chicken is my dad's favourite meat in Japan besides beef.
There is also the usual salt grilled chicken with crispy skin but the portion is too small. It's better to grab those at the basement of department stores. 
Look out for this stack of piping hot caramelized sweet potatoes that I found under the "Vegetables" and not "desserts" section. This street snack is like an endangered dish that is slowly vanishing from the urbanized cities so catch them if you can. 
Nakano-ya なかの家
Japan, 〒545-8545 Osaka Prefecture, Osaka
Abeno-ku 1-4-43, Abeno Harukas Mall 13F
Nearest Station: Abenobashi/Tennoji Station Osaka
Daily 11am-11pm

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