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Dotonburi Sushi
I’ll be posting a lot of backlog from my last Osaka trip so this is just a heads up. I get a lot of messages from family and friends asking me what my favorite Osaka food finds are so I thought it’d be convenient to just post them all here for everyone to see.

Dotonburi Sushi
I have no idea what this restaurant is called but we found it when as we were walking around Dotonburi for brunch. It was a brightly lit take-out sushi and sashimi joint where all the fish is freshly packed and refrigerated, just like in the grocery aisles. What sets this place apart from a grocery is that there are stools and high tables on one side where diners who buy their fish can dine. The tables have soy sauce, tissue and chopsticks and the place sells drinks as well.

Dotonburi Sushi
It’s a pay at the counter kind of place. I can’t say it’s a restaurant cause it’s a lot more like a deli with rows and rows of pre-packed sushi and sashimi.

Dotonburi Sushi
There was even a booth where they were selling fresh and grilled oysters for ¥400 a piece.

Dotonburi Sushi
We had grilled oysters topped with soy sauce, butter and lemon.

Dotonburi Sushi
Then we looked through the different rows of fish and picked out the stuff we wanted to try. There was a wide array of sorts, from the affordable to premium.

Dotonburi Sushi

Dotonburi Sushi
I was happy to see fresh slabs of otoro in the mix. It’s the fattiest best part of any tuna and comes straight from the belly. It’s usually pricey but in this fine establishment, Otoro Sashimi was ¥1500 which at Php 550 is affordable.

Dotonburi Sushi
Of course, I ordered it. After paying, you can have it sliced by any of the chefs on-hand. If they’re not prepping stuff for customers, you’ll find them slicing and packing more fish and putting them in more take-out containers.

Dotonburi Sushi
Sake Nigiri and Rolls for ¥500 / Unagi Nigiri for ¥200 / Tamago for ¥100

Dotonburi Sushi
Look at the stripes on the salmon slabs, absolutely gorgeous. Tasted great and fresh as ever.

Dotonburi Sushi
The Otoro was served with hot, seafood miso soup with baby clams. It was the best sashmi I ever tasted. It melts in your mouth just like butter and it’s rich, creamy and just such a dream to eat. I savored every second I had it in my mouth. It’s best eaten with your eyes closed.

Dotonburi Sushi
We also saw that they were filleting a huge tuna by the time we were done eating. It’s some sort of tourist attraction there. There are guys gutting and cutting this huge fish and showing the different parts of meat inside.

Maybe you’ll all laugh at me when I say this was one of the best sushi/sashimi meals I had in my life. Never cared much for ambience and I find that the most unassuming places end up surprising you. What makes this place so special to me is how fresh everything is and the quality of the products and the prices all just don’t add up! It’s too good to be this cheap but I’m glad. Thank you Japan for going above and beyond my expectations every single meal.

Universe Gastrolounge
I haven’t been too present in the blogosphere but once in a while, I get to sneak out of work and try new places with fellow blog-folk. When Aldous invited me to join and sample the dishes Universe Gastrolounge, I just had to be there.

Universe Gastrolounge
I learned that Universe was Opus re-branded, owned and managed by the same group. Never went to Opus so I have absolutely no point of reference BUT I did know that Chef Aracama handled food so I had great expectations. (This is because of the time I had a shoot at Republiq and they fed us Korean Steak Tacos which were awesome. So I asked the waiter who the chef was and he said Aracama and I was loyal forever.)

Universe Gastrolounge
When I stepped in I thought Universe looked pretty cool. It had a comfortable lounge vibe with exposed brick walls, those neon scripty lights and a huge chalk wall. We were about 6 bloggers there so it was an intimate event with a whole lot of food. I didn’t get to try everything and since there was just so much but so I’ll write about the stuff I particularly enjoyed in more detail.

Universe Gastrolounge
I don’t particularly enjoy white bread but I liked the Black Bikini. It’s a grilled sandwich with prosciutto, truffle jam and cheese. This is something I’d want to recreate at home.

Universe Gastrolounge
We were served other sandwiches too like the Patty Melt and the Monte Cristo Benedict. But since my bread quota was up, I just had the potato chips and garlic aioli.

Universe Gastrolounge

Universe Gastrolounge
For starters, we also had Chicken Cobb Salad, Mixed Mushroom Dip and Patatas Bravas.

Universe Gastrolounge
I was surprised to find that they served sushi! First non-Japanese place I tried that dished out sushi.

Universe Gastrolounge

Universe Gastrolounge
Featuring the Electric Eel, Futo Wacky and the Crunchy Caterpillar.

Universe Gastrolounge
When it comes to pizza, I feel that the ones with the fewest ingredients work best. The Italian Sausage pizza they served was topped with just crumbly Italian sausage and roasted garlic – all soft and paste-y.

Universe Gastrolounge
If you’re into more American flavors, the BBQ Chicken pizza was alright as well.

Universe Gastrolounge

Universe Gastrolounge
We had the BLT (Bacon, Linguine & Truffle) Pasta as well as the Linguine Vongole. I don’t know why but I honestly don’t enjoy linguine noodles so I thought that the pasta was just OK.

Universe Gastrolounge
For mains, I thought the best thing they had was the Café Rep’s Crispy Bagnet Pork Belly which was served on a bed of kimchi rice with lechon sauce. I could eat kimchi rice with anything but honestly, the bagnet was a winner. Easily the best dish on the menu.

Universe Gastrolounge
Hesitant to try the Meatloaf and Gravy at first, my curiosity got the best of me. It wasn’t half bad. Paired with the mashed potatoes and gravy, it felt like eating a block shaped burger steak.

Universe Gastrolounge
The Boneless Beef Riblets tasted exactly like the chicken on the BBQ Chicken Pizza so like I said, if you’re really into the American BBQ taste – go for it.

Universe Gastrolounge
Dessert was a favorite for everyone, I think. The Trailer Park Monte Cristo is a deep fried, peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This doesn’t look like much but it was so good I had to stop myself from devouring the entire plate.

Universe Gastrolounge
They served us the Banana Foster Sundae as well which I didn’t get to try cause I was already guilty for having the Monte Cristo. Looked good though!

Universe Gastrolounge
If I found myself back at Universe or in the midst of friends who just want to go out and party, I’d take comfort sitting out and eating. They don’t call it a Gastrolounge for nothing.