Since 1 July, a small corner of the Chayamachi district in the downtown Umeda area of Osaka has been holding a huge deal: All-You-Can-Eat-and-Drink Alley. For a flat rate of 3,500 yen (US$28) you can have three hours to run wild and eat as much as you want from eight different restaurants in the alley, going back and forth among them freely.
Still not enough? Okay picky pants, how does also having all-you-can-drink of any drink from coffee to wine sound? We thought that would convince you! Let’s take a quick look at what’s in store (or stores rather) for you there.
All eight shops that currently operate along All-You-Can-Eat-and-Drink Alley are taking part in the offer, which means you don’t have to worry about accidentally walking into a place that’ll charge you. It also means that there is a combined 400 square meters (4,300 square feet), 500 seats, and over 500 different menu items to enjoy throughout the following eateries.
Casual dining (110 items, 130 seats)
Mameichi is the home of easy-going salty and sweet dishes like Osaka’s favorite okonomiyaki. They also have a “Grand Ballroom” which can accommodate up to 80 people for private parties.
Shabu-shabu (50 items, 40 seats)
As Shabucha’s name suggests their specialty is shabu-shabu, in which thin slices of meat are cooked by swishing in boiling water or broth. In the case of Shabuchaya, you can choose from their range of carefully selected pork and beef cuts.
Kushikatsu (40 items, 30 seats)
Kushi Ichi is where you’ll want to go for another Osaka favorite: kushikatsu. This is the art of putting pretty much any kind of food from pheasant eggs to onions to squid on a little bamboo skewer, battering it, and deep-frying it to a nice golden brown perfection.
After ordering you’ll likely be reminded by a Japanese person in your company that it is considered rude to double dip your kushikatsu in the shared can of sauce. Though I’m pretty sure that’s a universal rule in any dipping situation worldwide, there must have been some visitor from another country who double-dipped one time and gave Japanese people the impression that all foreigners do it. Way to go buddy.
Robatayaki / Motsunabe (110 items, 110 seats)
Zenran Kumon is your destination if you’re looking for the slow grilled barbecue seafood that is robatayaki. Their chef starts early in the morning firing up the charcoal grill and choosing the finest seafood from all over Japan for the day.
If that’s not your bag, then you could always partake of the motsunabe which is a stew largely made up of boiled beef and pork organ meats.
Zenran Kumon would like to remind you that both dishes go great with alcohol, as opposed to…something I guess.
Yakiniku (80 items, 70 seats)
If robatayaki is too slow for your tastes, you can just walk over to Kurobekoya for the relatively rapid barbecuing action of yakiniku. Choose as much as you want from some of the finest cuts of Japanese beef and grill it just the way you like it.
Vegetables & Wine (50 items, 40 seats)
All this talk of deep-frying pork and boiling tripe may seem a little heavy, so you can always take refuge in the Miyama Cafe. Here you can choose from 20 kinds of vegetables at their salad bar or pick something off their menu. The wine flows freely here too so you can always grab your daily glass, you know, for the anti-oxidants.
Bistro (70 items, 60 seat)
If you need a break from all this Japanese food, then you can skip over to Otto which offers 70 international foods from French, Italian, and Oriental cuisine. You’ll probably also want to make Otto your last stop so you can enjoy some rich desserts by their pastry chef.
Oh, and of course they have lots of wine here too.
Meat Bar (50 items, 40 seats)
For those of you more interested in the all-you-can-drink rather than the all-you-can-eat, Gabu is your place. They don’t boast much in terms of food, but they have you covered for good drinks and friendly service. They’re like a de facto bar section for Otto since the two places are directly connected.
That should be enough information to plan your attack on All-You-Can-Eat-and-Drink Alley. It would seem that they truly have something for everyone there, unless you’re one of those people who eats rocks,like I read about in National Geographic that one time.
2-16 Chayamachi, Kita, Osaka, Osaka
Source: PR Times (Japanese)