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Elegant, Sophisticated, Delicious and Unforgettable Spanish-Japanese Fusion
Fujiya1935 is the kind of spot that is often tragically overlooked by Western food tourists. It's not a high-end sushi restaurant or a specialty restaurant serving a uniquely Osakan food like okonomiyaki or kushikatsu. What it is, instead, is a Spanish-Japanese fusion restaurant with an ever-changing menu, an obsession with seasonal ingredients, and 3 Michelin stars, the first incarnation of which opened in 1935 by the great-grandfather of the present chef. On my visit, there were 15 courses, the last 4 of which were desserts. Highlights included a shirako (しらこ, a Japanese cod sperm sac delicacy which tastes ALOT better than it sounds) and truffle consomme, crab linguini, abalone (あわび or awabi) topped with a crazy-sounding but crazy-good abalone liver sauce, and a Hokkaido island venison (しか or shika) steak. The desserts were seemingly plucked from a heretofore unseen Wes Anderson and Willy Wonka collaboration, including the stunning Strawberry and Snow (いちごと雪 or ichigo to yuki). Every dish was spectacularly delicious, innovatively conceived, expertly prepared, and further evidence of Chef Tetsuya Fujiwara's genius. Fujiwara-san studied in Europe before returning to Osaka to take over (and reinvent) the family restaurant, which began as a second thought for his great grandfather Fukumatsu's rice wholesale business. They don't serve stew udon here anymore, and you'll need a reservation. Go for the wine pairing, you've earned it. One of the best meals of my life!!!
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