Sakura 吉野葛佐久良

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Sakura is a Yoshino Kuzu specialty store. The owner is the 6th generation of a kimono shop founded in 1873.

Various Kuzu confectionaries are sold at the front of the store with a sweet old lady behind the counter. At the cafe, you can savor handmade Kuzu desserts and tea while enjoying the view of the garden and relaxing in a serene and homey setting with soothing instrumental Japanese music playing in the background.

The waitress didn’t speak much English, but there was an English menu.

We ordered the Kuzumochi with kinako and kuramitsu (black sugar syrup) and Matcha with red bean kuzumochi.

The kuzumochi was soft and chewy, complemented beautifully with the kinako and syrup. The slightly bitter and earthly matcha was perfectly balanced with the red bean kuzumochi.

I will definitely revisit this cafe.


Sakura 吉野葛佐久良


Telephone: 0120-26-0887

Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 17:00 p.m., closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays

Address: 2 Takamikadocho, Nara, 630-8336, Japan

Shichifuku shokudo 七福食堂

Shichifuku Shokudo is a ten-minute walk from the Higashimuki shopping street. I found this gem on Google Maps while searching for a place to have lunch. The restaurant also has a website selling coffee beans and aprons.

This modest restaurant offers a healthy, affordable seasonal set menu at 1300 yen, along with some drinks and desserts.

I recommend making a reservation; you can email them at

The staff was pleasant and friendly. The male waiter that served us spoke English and had a gentle demeanor.

The set menu consists of scrambled eggs with shirasu (Whitebait), pickled carrot salad with goji berries and orange, pork croquettes, seafood soup, and a soybean pudding-like dessert with sweet syrup and grapes. I also ordered a lemonade and panna cotta.

The ingredients were fresh and reminded me of a homecooked meal. The scrambled eggs with shirasu were a lovely pairing. The salad had a good combination of sweetness and tanginess. The seafood soup was gorgeous, light, hearty, and packed with umami. The croquettes were juicy and delicious. The soybean pudding was interesting. It had a subtle hint of soybean, and the texture was jello-like but softer. The syrup had the right amount of sweetness.

The lemonade was refreshing with a hint of rosemary. The panna cotta was creamy, rich with a custard-like texture and a coffee liqueur syrup.

Overall, I had a lovely delectable lunch.

Shichifuku shokudo 七福食堂


Telephone: 070-1800-0789

Opening hours: Check the restaurant’s Instagram page for the latest opening hours

Address:19-19 Narukawacho, Nara, 630-8335, Japan

La Pizza Napoletana Regalo

Regalo is a pizzeria located near the Shin-Fukushima JR Station. It has been dubbed as one of the best pizzerias in Osaka.  The interior is charming but tiny, with 12 seats. We waited for an hour to be seated.  The owner is pleasant and friendly but does not speak much English. He was trained in Italy and won 3rd place in the World’s best pizza competition in 2013. He also runs the restaurant alone, a one-man show. Cutleries, dishes, glasses, and drinks are self-service, and the restaurant only accepts cash payments.

I’m unsure if an English menu is available; another foreign customer and I were not given one. We had to use google translate.

The menu is straightforward, with a good selection of tomato sauce or non-tomato tomato sauce pizzas.

I ordered the classic Margherita and Marcantonio ( mozzarella, fresh cream, ham, mushroom, and basil). The pizza was around 10 inches and cost 1,500 yen each. The ingredients were fresh, and the tomato sauce on the Margherita was beautiful. The pizza crust was thin with nice charred edges, but a little disappointed with the flavor and texture of the cornicione. It was salty, dense, and chewy.

The pizzas were decent and good value for money, but for me personally, it was not worth the one-hour wait. I have had better pizzas in Japan.


La Pizza Napoletana Regalo


Telephone: +81647962215

Opening hours: Monday- Sunday (except Tuesdays) 12 – 14:30 p.m., 17:00 – 21:00 p.m

Address: 5-chōme-9 Fukushima, Fukushima Ward, Osaka, 553-0003, Japan

Melbourne Coffee, Craft & Cider

Melbourne Coffee, Craft & Cider is a hip little cafe near the Shinsaibashi station serving Australian-style breakfast and coffee. It is difficult to find breakfast places that open early in Osaka especially places that serve Western-style breakfast. This cafe opens at 9 a.m. and is near my hotel, which is perfect. There is a good breakfast selection, such as toasties, muesli, smoothies, and cakes. There are gluten-free and vegan options. Their coffee beans are roasted in Melbourne, and the yogurt and muesli are made in-house.

The interior is decorated with graffiti art and has a lively atmosphere and chill vibe. The staff was bubbly and friendly. From their accent, I think they were Australians.

We ordered a Flat white, a detox smoothie (banana, lettuce, and avocado), and two different toasties – tomato and cheese, avocado, ham, and cheese. The coffee has a more robust flavor than the ones I’ve had at a  Japanese cafe. The smoothie and toasties were simple yet delicious; feels like breakfast at home.

The cafe is popular amongst foreigners, so I recommend getting there early. All in all, a fantastic place to grab Western-style breakfast and coffee.


Melbourne Coffee, Craft & Cider


Opening hours: Daily, 9:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m.

Telephone: +817089507788

Address: 1st Floor Sanei Moor Building, 3-8-7 Minamisenba Chuo-ku Osaka Japan

Ramen Mugyu Vol. 2

Tucked away in a small alley is a simple, no-frills ramen restaurant. The automated kiosk has four language options – English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The staff was friendly.

The restaurant uses chicken broth as its soup base. There are three soup choices – shoyu, plain chicken broth, and a thick white broth. We ordered the thick white broth ramen, plain chicken soup ramen, and gyoza. Both noodles were delicious and packed with umami. The thinly sliced chashu (pork slices) were lean and flavorful, one of the best I’ve had. The gyozas had a crispy crust with a juicy meat filling.

A very satisfying meal. I highly recommend this restaurant.

Ramen Mugyu Vol. 2 Karasuma Takoyakushi


Telephone: 075-221-2588

Opening hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 23:30 p.m., closed on Sundays

Address: 298-13 Ichirenshacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, 604-8146, Japan


Authentic South Indian food in Osaka

On my recent trip to Osaka, I stumbled upon a South Indian restaurant – Cocobanana. The restaurant has a set menu as well as an ala carte. I love that the food is served on banana leaves, which is a traditional South Indian method of serving rice dishes. The prices are reasonable, and the portions substantial. The cooks are Indian, and one Japanese waitress is friendly and speaks some English.

I had a plain Lassi (200 yen), Dosa with rice set with chicken curry and coconut fish curry (1300 yen), and paratha (300 yen). The lassi was sweet and refreshing. The curries were mild but delicious, and the paratha was soft and flaky, not too oily.

Overall, I enjoyed the meal and curbed my 3-and-a-half-year craving!




Opening hours: Lunch: 11:00 – 15:00, Dinner: 17:00 – 23:00(L.O.22:30)

Telephone: 050-5488-7042

Address: 2-7-4, Edobori, Nishi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka, 550-0002