When we visited Monte Gordo earlier in the week, we just intended to have a quick swim after work and then grab a Chinese takeaway on the way home. We didn’t expect to drive home chatting excitedly about the truly stand-out meal we ended up enjoying.
As we walked across the sea-front car park, en route to pick up a takeaway, we were stopped, and handed a flyer for “Osaka,” a new Japanese restaurant located on a square just back from Monte Gordo seafront.
Ever cautious and cynical when it comes to all-you-can-eat concepts, I wasn’t that enthusiastic, but my wife gave me that look that indicated she really wanted to try the new place even if she wasn’t saying so out loud!
So of we went, and I cannot overemphasise how glad I am that we did.
Although Osaka is an all-you-can-eat concept, it is not a buffet. Everything is cooked fresh to order, and you can order until you are fit to burst from a large menu containing everything from sushi platters to green tea ice cream, via tempting hot dishes including feather-light tempura and generous king prawn dishes.
The surprisingly thing is….it’s ALL exceptionally good. For a start, the sushi was noticeably superior to the boxes I grab in London, but it got really exciting with the hot dishes. Rice that was so good I had a second bowl, tasty prawns and a few unusual bits such as light, crispy clouds of pumpkin.
The chicken teriyaki was particularly note-worthy with light crispy skin and a tasty sauce, which encouraged the wife and I to keep eating way beyond the point we were full!
So, with outstanding food – how was the service? Faultless. friendly, and perfectly balanced – attentive without being pushy, and relaxed, whilst at the same time not leaving you impatiently waiting for anything. Perfect. Particularly impressive was when the waitress recommended a specific prawn dish “because it’s so nice you MUST try it.” It was as well! Any “all you can eat” cynicism evaporates when you are being actively encouraged to eat more.
Accompanied by Japanese beer which made a refreshing change to Sagres and Super Bock (although, it must be said the latter options are a LOT cheaper on the menu), the meal was a bargain at 14.90€ each. We will be back.
Only open for a few days at the point we visited, Osaka has, for us, raised the bar for Asian food in this area. If they manage to maintain the quality of the food, and the standards of service when the tourists arrive on mass, they will make a lot of money…..and they will deserve to.