The highly anticipated Osaka Ohsho has finally arrived in Singapore. Established in 1969, with over 300 other locations already open in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Korea, early diners have rated this renowned Chuka-Japanese chain as the expert in Gyoza.
Japan Foods Holding, a leading F&B operator in Singapore, owns the franchise rights to operate Osaka Ohsho here. The expert kitchen team of Japanese and local chefs ensure consistent quality, providing diners here the authentic Osaka Ohsho experience.
Mabo Tofu ($7.90)
Osaka Ohsho specialises in Chuka dishes, which are Chinese cuisine adapted to suit the Japanese palates –therefore you can find a range of familiar Chinese home-style dishes such as Mabo Tofu.
This Sichuan favourite is redolent of intense flavours derived from fermented black beans, chilli oil, peppercorns and garlic. It didn’t wow me though; I felt that it was lacking in unami.
Fuwatoro Tenshin Han ($9.90)
The Fuwatoro Tenshin Han deserves special mention.
What was lacking in the aforementioned Mabo Tofu, the Fuwatoro Tenshin Han totally made up for it. Dive into the sunny-yellow ‘dome’ of fluffy omelette to reveal steaming Japanese rice.
Only Koshihikari rice from the Toyoma region in Japan is used at Osaka Ohsho. Grown with melted snow and fertile soil, the texture of the rice has a nice balance of sticky and fluffy.
At first glance, one might be intimidated by the amount of white rice. I usually don’t like consuming white rice, but when paired with the addictive velvety gravy, it had me going back for more.
Ban Ban Chicken ($5.90)
The Ban Ban Chicken immediately reminds me of our local chicken rice dish upon my first bite.
The distinct fragrance of goma (sesame) wafts through each successive bite. This cold appetiser of thinly sliced steamed chicken – tender and succulent, drizzled with goma sauce – makes for a great start to a meal.
Fried Chicken with Negi Sauce ($5.90)
The Fried Chicken with Negi Sauce is another enjoyable dish that I wouldn’t mind a second helping. Crisp strips of meat are coated with a delectable spring onion sauce.
Double Cooked Pork ($9.90)
The Double Cooked Pork is commonly known as hui guo rou (or literally, meat that has been ‘returned’ to the wok). This name describes the dual-cooking method of simmering the meat, then stir-frying it.
Although I loved the flavours and ‘wok fragrance’ of the pork, I found the pork-to-vegetable ratio to be undesirable –non-veggie lovers will find it a chore picking the greens out.
Black Vinegar Fried Chicken Set ($14.90)
The Black Vinegar Fried Chicken is available as a set ($14.90) – accompanied by miso soup, gyoza and Japanese rice – or as an a la carte item ($10.90).
I didn’t care much for the miso soup; it is pretty bland. It might be because they didn’t want the soup to overpower the main dish (the chicken), or to overwhelm the palate with too many heavy flavours.
The Black Vinegar Fried Chicken is quite heavy on taste, and is best enjoyed with Japanese rice. Deep-fried chicken pieces are stir-fried with lotus roots, capsicum and eggplant, well coated in a Japanese vinegar sauce that boasts a balanced harmony of sweetness, tanginess and savouriness.
Osaka Ohsho Gyoza (6 for $3.90, 12 for $7.80)
The highlight is definitely their signature handmade gyoza (meat dumplings), skilfully pan-fried to a delicious crisp on one side yet tantalisingly moist within.
To achieve consistency in texture and the right golden-brown crispness, only customised Osaka Ohsho grills that control the temperature at a constant 95 degrees C are used.
The succulent filling is made with a combination of tender pork shoulder and leg cuts, as well as finely minced cabbage, garlic and ginger, for a balanced medley of textures and flavours.
Their very own delicately thin wanton skin is freshly made daily using Japanese flour.
Triumphing from the rigorous kitchen trials under Japan’s discerning palates, I very much have to agree, upon consumption, that their title of ‘Osaka’s King of Gyoza’ is well deserved.
Daily: 11.30am to 9.45pm (last order)