With only a short time in Osaka I had to choose my two special meal experiences carefully. The first of these knocked my socks off. Chef Tetsuya Fujiwara is the fourth generation of his family to run FUJIYA 1935, a small restaurant that began back in 1935 as a humble noodle joint and is now a two Michelin starred Spanish / Japanese restaurant that stands as something quite unique.
A fantastically structured experience, it begins quietly in a dimly lit and calm waiting room at the entrance with the sounds of the season all around you, crickets & cicadas heard through the speakers, we are seated on natural wood tables with a tree snaking from floor to ceiling around us. A giant block of ice melts slowly on each table on top of wet forest leaves. Once each party is called, we pass the entire kitchen team who greet us all. Then we ascend the stairs to the serene dining room. The Kaiseki then begins. For the next 2.5 hours the dishes land one by one, all beautifully plated - from sweet vegetables through typical Japanese fish and seafood, with the only meat a glorious cut of pork fillet from the Basque country, the Spanish influence evident but all the while the essence of Japan the shining star. This applies to the entire meal. The evening ends gracefully with the best summer fruit turned into sublime desserts and a jelly made from the first picked tea of the season. Many of the dishes are regionally site specific, the selection meticulous and unrivaled. It’s one of my most memorable meals of recent times. This level of care, exceptional skill and attention to detail whilst respecting the produce and the tradition of the country continues to astound me on my trips to Japan. The Kansai region is yet another, perhaps the greatest, food destination in all of Japan . A SELECTION:
1. Fig and Rhubarb (from Nagano) 2. Tomato Bread with Air Bubbles 3. Brown Edamame with Pea Tendrils 4. Ayu Sweetfish from Takatsu River confit roquette sauce 5. Sea Urchin & squid rakkyo pickles medium temp capellini 6. Wild Eel from Lake Biwa w yellow paprika sauce 7. Kintoa Pork from Basque w chili pepper peach 8. Apricot & Manchego #fujiya1935 #osakaeats #michelinstars #worlds50best