Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Kushiya Monogatari - Kagura Syokudo

The next restaurant we went to was right in the middle of the Dōtonbori area (near the giant crab) and on the 9th floor, meaning that from our seat we got a great view of, well, the tops of the other tall buildings across the street. Some confusion about what the name where we were actually was - different sites have slightly different variations. The name seems to be Kushiya Monogatari (串家物語, and sometimes with 神楽食堂), from which monogatari (物語) means story and kushiya (串家) is in reference to its food being kushiage - fried things on sticks, is a popular specialty of the Osaka region! It is a national chain of deep fried skewers buffet restaurant.

poster showing all the different sticks available
The poster for their 'Winter sensation fair' outside of the restaurant gave an idea of what to expect. Although it's clearly not catered for vegetarians, there were quite a lot of veggies-on-sticks on offer here. And while the staff's English didn't seem that extensive the tables helpfully had cards explaining the idea of the restaurant in various languages:

instructions on what to do

For some reason 'please put only sticks in the fryer' made us giggle! Anyway, the all-you-can-fry buffet provided a wide selection of ready-prepared sticks on cooled shelfs, including lots of different types of raw vegetables and a couple of different cheeses. We picked up a bunch of said sticks, brought them to the table, dipped them in the liquid batter and breadcrumbs and then put them in the fryer. There was a ninety minute time limit but if you can eat fried sticks (and a selection of other cooked choices, although these mainly were't vegetarian; we did have some salad and plain udon) for more than an hour even you either go very slowly or have a much bigger appetite than us.

This dining experience lent itself well to lots of pictures... All set up and ready to go.

set up and ready to go

A couple of sticks in the fryer at our table...

frying away

It took a couple of goes to get the hang of how much to put on and how long to leave them in so as not to end up with too thick/fried a layer of batter. Then part of the fun was juggling eating and frying so as to get it right and not leave any waiting time. There were a wide variety of condiments and sauces for you to choose and mix to compliment your fried items.

Finished sticks (lotus root and konnyaku) and uncooked sticks (pumpkin, button mushroom, aubergine, onion, pepper and bread):

Finished sticks

After a while...

lots of sticks

Yes, I really did get through that many sticks myself! Went back for more a couple of times, with the different types of mushrooms, cheese and konnyaku were particular favourites.

There were even a selection of desserts and fruits to choose from afterwards if you could somehow still manage it. Sight of a piece of mostly eaten waffle, chocolate cake and think pancake shown below; ihascupcake had some coffee flavoured grass jelly. We also had some oranges for good measure.

desserts selection

Finally, after we were all finished, the resulting carnage:

the resulting carnage

Eating this food all the time would surely be a quick route to heart disease even if you don't have to worry about your waistline, but as a one off it was great fun as well as tasty. At ¥2,625 it was not the cheapest thing we had but when you look at the number of sticks we got through it was actually great value too, even if we hadn't been lucky enough to be given discount vouchers in the lift on the way up. You can also add all-you-can drink for an additional ¥1,050, so might be a good place for a fun evening with friends.

Kushiya Monogatari (Dōtonbori branch)
〒542-0071大阪府大阪市中央区道頓堀1-6-15 ドウトンビル 9F

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