ZSAT: Osaka, Endo Sushi (ゑんどう寿司) / by Alice Zhao

Our final major food stop on our ZSAT 2009 (Zhao Super Asia Trip) landed us at back in Osaka and at Endo Sushi. We heard a lot about Endo Sushi from a few sources. The restaurant is located next to Osaka's central market- which is Osaka's equivalent to Tsujiki market in Tokyo. Being right next to the market ensures fresh fish and although the restaurant is a little out of the way from the city, it is totally worth it.

This sushi place has a long history since it's opening in 1907. What is so unique about their sushi is that rice used is hot when shaped and warm when it arrives. This keeps the rice soft and light and crumbles in your mouth as you eat it. Also, you will notice a bowl of soy sauce with a brush on the table. The communal bowl is shared by its patrons. And with each brush of soy onto the fish, the oil and flavor from the fish goes back into the soy. With time, the soy sauce develops its own flavor. This can be seen by the layer of sheen on the sauce. Also brushing the soy onto the fish is the correct way to eat sushi. Never dip the rice into the soy sauce, as it will cause the rice to break and will be too salty to eat.

You can order any type of fish you want, but I would recommend that you order the chef's selection (Omakaze). For 1000 yen, you will get 5 pieces of nigiri, but one out of the five will be an Otoro piece!!! After 5 plates, you would've sampled all of the fish of the day. Most people usually stop after 3 plates (including me). But Jared made it all the way to 5. If there is a particular piece you liked during your sampling, you can order that. I would recommend just getting the Otoro, it is out of this world. We never had Otoro this fresh and this good. The tuna literally melts in your mouth and you can really taste the fattiness of the fish. Every time he describes this meal, Jared always says that Endo has ruined any future sushi eating experiences for him back home. Nothing in Chicago could possibly compare to quality in Japan. This meal was utterly defining. And yes, we dream about this Otoro, too.

The plate in the center had the most marbled Otoro, it literally melted in our mouth. mmmmh

Along with their sushi, they also offer a bowl of clam miso soup. The soup has a nice sweet taste and very flavorful as it is packed with small clams.

The chef came by and we of course had to take this photographic opportunity!

To get here:

1. take a train to Tamagawa station (s12 on the Sennichimae line)
2. take exit 3 or exit 6 from the station
3. walk straight down the road until you see a large market/warehouse on your right. there will also be a carpark. If you cross over the river, you have gone too far.
4. the shop is at the end of the carpark to the left of the market itself. You will see a blue banner with Endo written in Japanese.

They are open from Mon-Sat 5am to 2pm, and closed on Sundays and Holidays

AM5:00~PM2:00 (日曜、祝日休み)
Tel: 06-6469-7108
Fax: 06-6469-7125

And as an added bonus- here's an instructional video spoof on how to eat at a sushi bar :) Cracks me up every time.