Fujiya 1935 is one of the four Michelin-3-starred restaurants in Osaka, also the only Western restaurant awarded three stars in town. You will never imagine that this family-run restaurant was firstly opened as a udon place in 1935. Currently helmed by the fourth generation, chef Tetsuya Fujiwara takes the legendary of his family and emphasise on the best ingredients from the nature.
While it is not that easy to get a table at Fujiya 1935. Reservations can be taken 2 months in advance. I called the restaurant exactly 60 days in advance to get a table. Well, to be honest, from my last Kyoto and Kobe food trip, i found that I still prefer food in Tokyo which is much worth what i pay for. I am kinda lazy to travel to Kaisai again because food in Kaisai is always much below my expectation. Anyway, i made it, just for Fujiya 1935 and Hajime (review will come out later). After i visited both, my partner (a Michelin chef) and i found we both prefer Fujiya 1935, at least for the time we visited.
We firstly came to a waiting room before heading to the main dining area on the second floor. The kitchen is right by the stairs on the first floor where all the magic happened. On the second floor, there are about only 4 tables of two, 1 table of 4 and a private room of 6 pax. Third floor is restroom. The decoration of the restaurant is very natural and woody, which makes us feel very close to the nature.
Only one Omakase menu is served at Fujiya 1935, which is reasonabley priced at 15,000 yen for 12 dishes. (exlude tax and service charge)
I don't know wine very well and i asked the server for something special to drink, she recommended me this Japanese grape juice made of fermented grape's skin. It taste a bit sour but very refreshing.
The first dish was 'Sakana', or fish course in English. It smells really good when i opened the lid. The grouper has a clean flavor and was succulent, while the tomato soup mixed with pickled olives was sour but absorbed all the umami flavors of the fish. Not bad.
This aromatic dish was one of my favorite of the night. The seared shirako has a crispy surface on the cooked side, while it was mostly raw and creamy, the rich texture matches very well with the deep-fried gobo (burdock) on the top. Autumn truffle was sourced from Italy and was cubed rather than shaved. The gobo soup base was added once the dish was served. A really textural and delicious combination.
The bread came in a wood box with a hot stone on the bottom. That was my kind of bread - a crunchy skin and incredibly soft center. Two kinds of spreads were served on the side, i prefer the soy cream with sesame powder much over lard butter with parsley. The soy cream was creamy but very light, it was my first time having lard with bread and it was somehow...i don't know how to describe the taste but i don't like it anyway, too heavy and salty for my liking. One thing interesting about the bread part was that the heat from the stone lasted for over an hour until the dessert part.
Another highlight of the menu was the spaghetti, which was made in house and cooked al dente. The huge portion of the blue crab totally satisfied my crab craving. Paired with Mimolette cheese to enhance the fragrance and flavor. Well-done.
The next two snack featured the harvest of Autumn. Shiitake mushroom sandwich was made with Shiitake mushroom cookie, it was not the buttery stuff that everyone love, the texture was rather rustic but very real mushroom taste. In between the two biscuit was fresh shiitake mushroom. The second snack was deep-fried lotus root topped with gingko nuts and Mukago potatoes, with few rice puffs. While nothing impressed me on the flavor side.
Abalone with its liver sauce will never go wrong. The abalone itself was tender and crunchy, the liver sauce was rich but could be deeper in flavor. The cabbage was also from Hokkaido and served raw, it was surprisingly sweet the crunchy. Not bad.
A cold pasta dish to cleanse the palate and ready for the main course. Again, the pasta itself was perfect for my liking. The entire dish was pretty refreshing.
One of my favorite fish of this season it Ayu, or sweet fish in English. Ayu is actually servedalmost all year round, in the spring, you can find very young Ayu but for late autumn till early winter, the parent Ayu are served. The size of the Ayu were probably the largest i have had recently, see the chock full of fish roes in the belly? The fish was perfectly grilled, the seaweed sauce was a bit sour and brought a touch of refreshing to the dish. Namba chestnut was well-roasted, its sweetness gives the dish another lovely aftertaste.
The first dessert, or probably a pre-dessert, was Japanese pear sorbet with sweet crepes. The sorbet was mildly sweet and creamy in texture, its refreshing taste paired well with the sweet crepes. Inside of the crepe there were some vanilla cream with yuzu, the whole combination was very delicious.
Followed by a black box of....? Chestnut. The chestnut was boiled with sugar for over 8 hours to give its incredibly smooth texture, it was then smoked with charcoal inside this black metal box, so when i open it, the smoky scent was quite strong. The chestnut was serisouly HUGE, the largest i have even seen. It was sweet and very delicious, lovely one.
A cute glass of chestnut pudding was served together with the boiled chestnut, and we were told to have it right after the chestnut to balance the palates. The chestnut pudding was silky and delicious, and the bitterness of the coffee jelly well-balanced the sweetness of pudding.
Another two snacks was served at the last. Hojicha donut was not a typical donut you have ever had - forget about deep-fried and all the fats of donut, this one was made with Hojicha and was baked, the texture was rather like cookie. It was stuffed with Hojicha cream and topped with honey glaze. The second snack was Mosto jelly, which was made with balsamic vinegar and grape, topped with sour cream.
It was a pretty nice experience at Fujiya 1935. In general the food was satisfying except few dishes were less memorable. The service of most upscale Western restaurants i have been to are quite concise but Fujiya 1935 impressed me a lot, all the staffs were very friendly and have a very good knowledge of the menu. As i said, i didn't expected too much on Michelin restaurants in Kaisai area, as in, Michelin-3-star standard in Tokyo and Osaka, Kobe or Kyoto is different in my opinion. In short, i think it is pretty worth of value, and it was my favorite restaurant (Among 1*Sangencha, 2*Hajime, Ryoriya Stephan Pantel and 1* Motoi) during my trip this time.