{Japan: Eat} Deep Fried Gluttony at Kushiya Monogatari, Osaka

Kushiya Monogatari, Osaka

In a Nutshell:

  • Where: Kushiya Monogatari, Osaka (locations throughout Japan, more specifically in Tokyo there is one in Shinjuku, as well as Ikebukuro)
  • When: May 31, 2012
  • *Notes: Website (Japanese), All-you-can-eat kushiage (deep fried kebab) for 90 minutes, 2500 JPY per person

Full Report:

If M could pick one restaurant from Japan to bring to the United States (or more specifically our neck of the woods in Southern California), it would definitely be Kushiya Monogatari.  This popular chain, which originated in Osaka, offers diners all-you-can eat kushiage (deep fried kebabs) which you get to cook in a vat of oil built right into your own table:

Kushiya Monogatari table

M and I first tried this restaurant in Kyoto and we both fell in love with it.  Seriously, isn’t everything better deep fried?  Well, maybe not everything.  I once tried deep fried Coca Cola at the county fair and I don’t have enough room here to tell you how wrong that was.

The last time we ate at Kushiya Monogatari was in Osaka after a long day at Universal Studios where the food was not so great.  But this was a good thing because we showed up to the restaurant absolutely starving.  Since Kushiya Monogatari has a 90-minute limit to stuff your face with not only kushiage but also salad/curry/pasta/side dishes/dessert, we planned to go crazy for the next hour and a half.

sampling of foods at Kushiya Monogatari

But first I had to put my purse away under my seat:


And then we went to grab as much food as our plates could hold from the buffet area:



We returned to our table in triumph, armed with a number of kushiage to start frying up:


They had all kinds of kushiage to choose from: beef, chicken, pork, seafood, vegetables, sausage, and my personal favorite: mochi!  Diners are provided with batter and panko crumbs in which to first dip the kushiage before placing in into the hot oil:

batter and panko

As you can tell from the above picture I am a huge tsukemono (pickled veggies) fan.  Takuan and rakkyo are my personal favorites.  I can’t even tell you how many kushiages we managed to devour that night.  When you are done with a stick you place it in this wooden cup:

wooden cup for discarding kushiage sticks

Trust me when I say we managed to fill up that cup to the max!  While I ate all kinds of side dishes in addition to the deep fried stuff, M focused primarily on the kushiage and he really went to town.  I could tell he was enjoying himself immensely because the main topic of discussion was how much it would cost to franchise one of these restaurants and bring it to So Cal.  Whenever he loves a restaurant he always talks about franchising it.  After our recent trip to Vancouver, he hasn’t been able to stop talking about the possibilities of franchising Japadog.  I’m personally crossing my fingers that Mister Donut will one day make its triumphant return to the US!

I think we stayed at the restaurant for almost the full 90 minutes.  The server had made sure to note the time we needed to stop eating on the bill:


For all the food we ate, dinner turned out to be a stellar deal.  Only 2000 JPY ($20) or so per person.  You can also pay an extra 200 JPY and get all-you-can-drink soda or dole out an extra 1000 JPY for all-you-can drink alcohol.

kushiya monogatari prices

Kushiya Monogatari has locations all over Japan with at least 7 in the Tokyo area (you can do a search at bento.com).  You can also check them out on their website (Japanese).  Although it’s only been a little over a year since we went, it seems prices have gone up to 2500 JPY.  Still a very good deal in my book and I know we’ll definitely be eating there again on our upcoming trip!