Osaka: Fujiya 1935

This is the ninth post on my recent food eating adventures to Japan. All other posts can be found here

Was looking for a nice place to bring E to as a thank you for bringing me around Japan and organizing all the details. For some reason, Fujiya 1935 kept popping up during my Internet searches as a really good restaurant  with a reputation for quality food. If anything, its 3 Michelin stars were a big indicator of that. 

I had initially thought that making a reservation would be easy. I knew a classmate who spoke perfect Japanese. No language barriers. We met early one morning to make the call, but that call only lasted 10 seconds till they told my classmate that because we were calling from an overseas number, they would refuse to take our reservation. I half-panicked. I told my Japanese friends in Singapore about this and they too expressed surprise at this outcome. Luckily, I was able to get N’s help, who lived in Tokyo, to make the call. She managed to get through and they took the reservation. PHEW!

Finally, the day came, and I navigated E and us through Osaka to this place pretty successfully (thank you google maps!). After whispering my reservation to the lady server, we were shown to a really dim waiting room which was super quiet, except for the murmured whispers of other guests. It was so quiet, I just kept quiet too and quietly sipped my plum soda till finally I was told that our table was ready… that was a little intense.
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We were led to the second floor where there were 4 tables laid out for 4 couples. We got the one right at the end next to the window, which was perfect since we had a lot of good light to take photographs of the food.
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Our first appetizer was a chilled summer turnip served with wasabi cream. I thought the wasabi cream was really good and continued using it for the bread, which came later.
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Next up was Japanese ancient cheese “So” – It looked like a cracker, but when you bit into it, you immediately knew it was cheese. That was a pretty interesting course.
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An original creation by the restaurant, corn bread with air bubbles. We were told by the server to eat it like we would a hamburger which got me really amused since we were in a fine dining place. Nevertheless, we did as she suggested.
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Hokkaido horsehair crab with edamame – when this dish was set in front of us, both of us gasped in delightful surprise. It was just so pretty and we definitely spent a few extra seconds appreciating the visual aspect of the dish. The crab tasted sweet and creamy and paired very well with the edamame.
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Then came some bread, which was kept warm through a hot stone along with milk butter and sesame cream soy milk butter. The hot stone was really effective, the bread was warm throughout the meal and really hot to touch at times. I really liked the sesame soy milk butter and I alternated between this and the wasabi cream on my bread.
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Hamo (pike eel) with pickled eggplant, botargo sauce and karasumi (dried mullet roe) – E commented that the karasumi is a very expensive ingredient in Japan, so we made sure to eat every single bit. Again, I laughingly commented that I had been eating hamo and eggplant the whole week in Japan, it being seasonal ingredients. This dish was executed well, and we both enjoyed it very much.
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Capellini with Ayu (Sweetfish) and rocket sauce – What was even more amazing was that the Ayu served with the capellini was deboned and the bones served to us on a separate plate intact! The bones were meant to be eaten as well and I did think this was a good way of showcasing the knife skills and finesse of the chef.
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Pork from Fukui, sanshou pepper, cherry tomatoes. The pork was well cooked. I asked the lady server how the pork was cooked and with some help from her and E (since there was a bit of a language barrier), I got the sense that it was first seared and then cooked sous vide for several hours. It was incredibly tender, with the slightest of pink and the combination of tomatoes and peppers went very well with the pork.
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Desserts: we were served 2 dessert courses. The first was an Apricot course, with an apricot sponge cake, with mascarpone, apricot sorbet, merringue and fresh fruit. This was another mind blowing presentation, it was just so pretty!
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For the second dessert course, we were given a slice caramelized pineapple and a glass of chilled pineapple. The pineapple is grown locally in Okinawa. I thought both deserts were equally good, they really highlighted the apricot and the pineapple fruits.
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For my first Michelin meal, this was a really great experience. I enjoyed all the dishes and the service was really top notch. All the servers were really polite and friendly and despite the tiny language barrier, they tried their best to answer my various questions. At the end of our meal, we were fortunate to chance upon chef Fujiya himself in the kitchen and got to take a photo with him!
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Add: 2-4-14, Yariyamachi Chuo-ku, Osaka 540-0027 Japan

Notes: Reservation hours are only between 9am-11am and 4pm to 5pm (Japan time). They only take reservations from within Japan. So you have to ask your hotel to make the reservation for you, or in my case, ask your Japanese friends to make the call for you. The lunch course will set you back 7200 yen, excluding 8% tax and 6% service charge. Fujiya 1935 also has a nice selection of wines and champagne at reasonable prices (I think that generally alcohol in Japan is pretty affordable in comparison to Singapore)

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