As a mentaiko (marinated roe of pollock) fan, when I found about Yamaya, a restaurant specialized in Mentaiko, around Umeda where I would be staying in Osaka, I was so eager to try that place out. Somehow, all my meals during my stay in Osaka were booked so I made a dedication to try this place out when I stayed in Himeji instead. (To be honest, it wasn't bad as it was like half and hour train ride for rapid train and that was a free day for me so I didn't intend to stay in Himeji all day as I only have thing to do at night).
Anyway, for Yamaya, at night it's an izakaya or drinking restaurant/bar-ish but during lunch, they sell set meal for office people and others around Umeda area. The price is reasonable like 700/800 yen for a main dish of your choice, refillable rice, soup and salad. The real highlight of Yamaya is that they provide free flow of mentaiko for you to eat with your rice and even have Mentaiko dressing for your salad. This is definitely mentaiko lovers' paradise!
Anyhow, don't think you would just eat mentaiko like crazy since the taste is actually quite strong. It's quite salty so you only need small amount of it to eat with rice. They also provide pickled vegetable and it did compliment the taste of mentaiko. It's pretty nice and feel quite like a home-made meal.
The main dish I ordered was Buta Shogayaki or ginger pork. The taste was rather strong if you take it only. It's quite nice to have with rice actually.
If you are mentaiko lovers, Yamaya is highly recommended. If you look for something nice and home-y food in Umeda, let's try Yamaya then!
Umeda, Osaka, Japan
JR station: Osaka
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