When one is vacationing in Osaka, one not to be missed dining experience would definitely be at the iconic crab restaurant located in Dotonbori, Kani Doraku (かに道楽). This restaurant, famous for its moving crab out in the front is featured in many places as one of the signature culinary of Osaka.
Kani Doraku (かに道楽) is so popular to the extend that, apart from this main branch founded back in 1960, there are many several smaller branch along the street of Dotonbori and many others across Japan. It is recommended that one try to make reservation in advance to avoid the waiting time of almost 2 hours on most days. Reservations can only be made way in advance on their website : Kani Doraku (かに道楽) Honten. If it is nearer to the required date, one can only hope that the waiting time is not too long and try to make early reservation on the actual day by walking to the restaurant early in the day.
Information of the main branch of Kani Doraku (かに道楽)
- Address : 〒542-0071 1-6-18, Dotombori, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
- Phone Number : 06-6211-8975
- Business Hours : 11:00 – 23:00
- Number of Seat : 332 seats (70 tables)
- Number of Private Room : 11 rooms
- Direction to get there : 5 minutes walk from Namba station on subway,Kintetsu,Hanshin,Nankai and JR. Located on Dotombori shopping street, the nearest intersection named Dotombori-bashi-minami-zume (道頓堀橋南詰) on Midosuji Boulevard, and need 1 minute walk from the intersection.
I guess we were pretty lucky during our recent trip as the chosen day of walking into the restaurant, we do not have to wait too long. The waiting period was only 1 hour and we were given several reservation timing as well. We opted to book for a later in the evening dinner giving us some time to explore Dotonbori first prior to our dinner. We arrived 15 minutes prior to our scheduled time and were very lucky to be able to be seated within 3 minutes. Guess it was indeed our lucky day!
Upon entering the restaurant, one will find a huge display at the reception area with live crabs and a little description on the different type of crabs.
It is amazing how serious they take their crab business as even the lift have images of crabs projected on the ceiling. What a fantastic ride up to the designated floor.
As there are only 2 of us and both of us are pretty small eater, we decided to share one Crab Kaiseki (Multi-Course Meal) with some other side orders. We decided on the Asahi (朝日) set which comprises of a total of 8 difference dishes. Costing at only 4,968 yen (inclusive of tax), Asahi (朝日) includes the following :
- Boiled Crab
- Chawan Mushi (Steamed egg custard) with crab
- Crab Tempura
- Japanese soup (served with crab ball)
- Raw Crab Tsukuri
- Crab Gratin (very cheesy, luckily it is only a small portion served with a little bit of pasta which compliments very well to the dish)
- Crab Sushi
For the side order, we opt for Claypot Rice Crab which cost only 1,296 yen (inclusive of tax). A small pot of rice cooked with crab on top, this dish takes about 30 minutes to cook in front of you. After it is cooked, we will then pick out the crab meat and mix it with the rice. The dish is served with a clear Japanese soup and top with some garnishes.
Not getting enough of the yummy crab, we decided to order the Grilled King Crab, 1,512 yen (inclusive of tax).
The service here is good as the waitress, although they speak limited English, are very friendly and helpful. As we ended our dinner, we were surprised that our shoes (yes we had to take off our shoes before heading to the table) were already placed waiting for us. The very attentive waitress immediately prepare our shoes the moment they see us getting up from our table. And the cutest part, they presented us with a little gift-away.
A truly satisfying meal, this is definitely one of the restaurant that we will come back whenever we are in the area again. And the hours of wait is worth it as long as we are not too hungry while waiting.