Haginochaya Triple Crown.Part 1: Kokoya Sushi.
By Matt Kaufman.
Three excellent restaurants, located side by side to one another make barhopping a breeze in downtown Osaka.(OSAKA) Haginochaya Station is not a place many people think of when it comes to fine dining but the area is home to several new restaurants that can compete with the best uptown fare. Fears of gentrification and older restaurants being pushed out to rising rents does not apply here. The newer restaurants have the look and feel of old neighborhood favorites, most of the customers are locals and the prices are extremely reasonable for such high quality food. Kokoya Sushi opened in October of 2019 and word of mouth spread quickly.
When it comes to Nishinari, the mass media is always five steps behind groups on social media whose passionate members search out every inch of the city and generously share information about old and new restaurants and bars.I arrive at Kokoya at around 2PM. It’s a nice cozy place with a long counter that sits about 12 people. The Hanshin Tigers are playing The Hiroshima Carp on TV and both teams are known for their passionate fans (I’m glad I wore my vintage Tigers cap today). It’s hot outside so I order a cold beer (¥300).I am not a sushi expert by any means; I usually order it at kaitenzushi (conveyor belt) places such as Kura. I do like sashimi but I usually have it at school end of the year parties or visits to ryokans (Japanese inns) on trips with my family. So ordering off the menu is a fairly new experience for me.I decide on the “otsukuri moriawase set” for 1,000 yen. Otsukuri (お造り) is the Kansai term for sashimi, but an otsukuri plate is usually decorated with colorful things such as flowers and edible leaves. “Moriawase” is a combination platter so its an easy way sample the menu without ordering multiple dishes.
A few minutes after ordering, Chef Ito, who has a very friendly smile, places a humongous plate of sushi on the glass counter directly above my seat. “Is-is-that MY order?,” I query incredulously. The other customers laugh. Chef Ito explains it is a delivery order for a party of 10 people.I ask if I can take a photo of the sushi platter and soon after all of the other customers pull out their phones and start clicking away. I have never seen such, um, photogenic sushi before, and it was a nice way to break the ice and I have a nice chat with three regulars who chat with several other customers about local restaurants.
My order arrives. It consists of of two pieces each of: maguro (tuna), salmon, tako (octopus), hamachi (yellow tail), tai (sea bream), ika (squid) kanpachi (amberjack) and suzuki (deep sea bass). It’s delicious and I savor every bite. We are talking about 20 piece of high quality sushi prepared by a master chef for $10 ($13 including the beer). That wouldn’t even cover the tip at most quality sushi restaurants in New York City.Kokoya Sushi. Absolutely blown away by my meal. Wow! Seriously, this might be the biggest “find” of the year. I’ll be dreaming of sushi all week.
Other recommended menu items: Tempura, Kaisen and Sushi sets. ¥1,000.
:西成海鮮市場 ここ屋住 所：大阪府大阪市西成区花園北2-13-3Nishinari-Ku Haginochaya Hanazono-kita 2-13-3Closest Station: Haginochaya (Nankai Line)定休日：木曜日営業時間：12時～26時Eat In/Take OutCost: ¥1000-¥2,000Nishinari Kaisen Ichiba (Nishinari Seafood Market) Facebook page.
Links (for language study).Yamadera http://yamadera.blog.jp/archives/51604897.htmlKenichihttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4NqxrLDJcwMe-Minhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXXTohhsn3ETabeloghttps://tabelog.com/osaka/A2701/A270406/27114013/