What Is Kappo
Osaka is known as the "Kitchen of Japan" for its amazing food culture. It takes pride in its kappo cuisine. But what is kappo exactly?
The word literally means "cutting and cooking", and is associated with delicately prepared small dishes by highly skilled chefs that went through extensive training. Kappo dining involves an open kitchen surrounded by a counter so that people dining can see the chefs preparing their dishes. Interacting with the chefs while they are preparing the kappo course is part of the experience. Every item is a work of art. You'll be struck by the delicacy and the seasonal sensitivity that accompanies kappo meals. You may find your meal decorated with seasonal references such as a branch of cherry blossoms in the spring or Japanese mapple red maple leaves in autumn.
Kappo courses often include sushi, but it is not limited to that. You'll often find grilled and boiled fish as well as sushi. Kappo chefs must have a truly broad training in traditional Japanese cuisine.
Naniwa Kappo Kigawa (Osaka)
Kigawa is one of the oldest and most reputable kappo restaurants in the city of Osaka. You will get a very outstanding kappo experience here in a luxurious and artistic setting with a relaxed ambiance. The restaurant was awarded a prestigious Michelin star. It's hidden in a back alley in downtown Osaka. It is located approximately a 5-minute walk from the Namba Station. The complete address is included at the end of this article.
The restaurant has wide counter seats. We recommend these seats to see the chef making your little pieces of culinary art.
If you prefer a more intimate setting, some private rooms are available as well.
Master chef Osamu Ueno prepares dishes using the traditional Osakan cutting and cooking techniques while incorporating some elements of Western food culture. You may find accents of basil vinegared miso and herb dressing in your dishes for exemple. Every bite is an interesting discovery.
Each dish is made with the best seasonal ingredients. Among the dishes are fish, both cooked and sashimi, and freshly harvested local vegetables presented with impressive originality.
As such, the menu changes every day. It may be a good idea to ask for recommendations from the chef or simply choose the "omakase" (the chef's selection) course. Although it might be intimidating to walk into such a traditional Japanese restaurant, Naniwa Kappo Kigawa is very "foreigner friendly". Some of the staff speak English, and English menus are available.
Above are an examples of what you might be served during an "omakase" course. The dishes are served one at a time, nicely paced. Excellent sake and other drinks are also on the menu.
For a lunch course at Kigawa, expect to pay approximately 8,000 yen. For a dinner course, the price averages about 15,000 yen. The costs do vary quite a lot. It is occasionally possible to have a nice meal for 5,500 yen for lunch for example. A very reasonable price for a Michelin-starred restaurant!
You do not need a reservation to come here but making one is better considering the popularity of the restaurant. English is understood so do not hesitate to call. Private dining rooms are available for 6-8 people, but we recommend you take a counter seat so that you can see the chefs in action!
Kigawa is definitely an experience you will remember! If you'd like to try some other restaurants of highly refined Japanese cuisine, try some of Osaka's kaiseki! See link below.