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GATARO Japanese Izakaya, Osaka Japan

Written by Jason Adamson on . Posted in food

japanese izakaya restaurant, gataro, osaka restaurant

Eating at an Izakaya when in Japan is an experience all in itself but sometimes you come across places that lift the game a few levels and you are left knocked about and bewildered as to just how good an eating out experience can be. One of those places is Gataro.

 osaka cafe, good japanese restaurantGataro is small but the energy of the place is almost overwhelming. It is like someone has put a Formula 1 engine in a Mini.

As soon as you open the door you are hit with the loud welcome of “rasshai” called out in unison by each and every member of the staff. The whole place is on hyper-drive and the atmosphere is … buzzing.Seated at the counter you will notice it is the perfect height, low enough to be involved with what is happening in the kitchen, yet high enough so as to provide enough personal space between diners and the chefs.

japanese meal, japanese gastronomyThe Owner/ Chef could best be described as a Japanese version of Mr. T. Not only because of the beads around his neck and the bandana on his head, but the way he controls his crew in the kitchen. This is a no nonsense place. Mr. T “aint got time for the jibber jabber.” You can see the hea

ds of the A-TEAM throbbing with orders as they cut, cook, fry and assemble – it’s a production line of perfection.

You wouldn’t dare complain about the food here (yes Mr. T is that scary) – but there really isn’t any reason to, as Gataro does what Osaka does best – it feeds people really really well.

sake cup, japan sake cupSake flows from 1.8 L bottles known as isshōbin. Cups are filled until they overflow into the saucers underneath and it isn’t until the sake reaches the saucers brim that a cup is considered full.

Prices are moderate; a sashimi moriawase (mix plate) of 5 fish costs 1600yen ($16) and as the fish specials change with the season the quality is literally off the hook.

The journey continues; a mixed Kushikatsu plate,

an Osaka specialty, served with salt as opposed to a regular dipping sauce that you would get elsewhere.

Astoundingly basic dishes like fava beans, which have been grilled in their pod, or the tomato salad that is just a tomato sliced up, salted, and then put back together again, reinforce the simplicity of Japanese cuisine. Simple but unfathomably amazing.

tuna jaw, baked tuna jawA tuna jaw, grilled and served with a lemon and

orange daikon garnish is not only ridiculously good looking but also ridiculously good eating.

Grilled Jagaimo (Japanese tuber Potato) with an uni (pronounced ooo-knee) or sea-urchin cream sauce is about as complex as it gets.

As each new dish arrives the old one is taken away, frosty beers turn into sake, which is swilled and then refilled as the pistons in the Gataro engine keep on pumping.

At around 10pm the tornado starts to die down. Last orders are called for food, people start to leave, and the staff call turns into “arigatōgozaimashita” and every single diner is thanked.

Mr T turns the A-Team van off until tomorrow when he will do it all over again.

Gataro… you will be seeing me again… real soon.


sashimi restaurant, sashimi japanSashimi: Specials Daily

Food: 500-1000 yen ($5-$10) per dish

Sake 150ml: 500 – 900 yen ($5-$9)

Approx. cost for 2: 5000 – 7000 yen ($50 – 70) + drinks

English Spoken: Very very little

English Menu: 1 single copy available, but no specials.

Open: 4pm-11pm.

Closed: Third Wednesday of Feb, Apr, Jun, Sep, Nov

For more Info visit


Gataro – Google Maps Link below for you convenience.

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Jason Adamson

Jason Adamson

Jason lives in Osaka Japan and has an infatuation with raw fish, ninjas and sake. Originally from Australia he has a Masters in Communications and a Le Cordon Bleu Masters of Gastronomic Tourism. He also owns a very old Nintendo.
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