かに道楽 Kani Doraku – Osaka

When in Osaka, you need to go to Dotonburi.  When in Dotonburi, you must eat at かに道楽 (Kani Doraku).  Probably one of Osaka’s most famous icons and landmarks, it’s the place with the Giant Mechanical Crab.  And of course, you need to have a picture of it.  I don’t think directions are needed to find this place, I mean, it has the giant crab in front of it.  And it’s right at the start of Dotonburi, so you can’t miss it.

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They have five levels here, the fourth level is for smoking.  Here is the fifth level, where we sat.  You want to be upstairs, as the first floor has booth seating, whereas you have a well for seating here.  And a great window view if you come early enough and can get choice.

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Their menu is all about crab. There is a la carte, and then there are kaiseki sets.  You have to go with the kaiseki to experience it all.  Since we wanted both snow and king crab, we chose this set, 13 items.  Not cheap, but it gave us all we wanted.

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We were going to order two sets, but it felt repeated, so we added a claypot crab rice and waited to see how that would fill us.  Or if it wouldn’t fill us.  Crab Croquettes were on the backup plan.

Before the food arrived, we took note that everything had a crab on it. From the chopstick holders to the placemats to the crab pickers, etc.

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We saw something interesting on the menu, and we just had to try it.  Crab Sake.

Now, it is homemade and a house specialty.  It is a piece of crab, simmered in sake and served hot.

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A little weird, but you definitely get the crab taste in the sake.  I don’t know that I would go for it again, but it was worth a shot.

Time for food!

Our first course was boiled King and Snow crabs.  We get a little bit of each and man, it was so sweet and just nicely done.  Not overcooked and the saltiness was there.  With a little lemon, it was perfect!

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Next up, some crab sashimi.  Raw Snow and King Crab.  Wow, so sweet!  I felt the snow crab was a little too mushy, but the king crab was just awesome.

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Then came the crab chawanmushi.  Something that Lena was really looking forward too.  And it did not disappoint her.  Nice pieces of crab and the egg was beautifully done.  On top there is a little crab broth with crab meat and also some in the egg itself.

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Next up was the grilled crab.  They set up the table to grill, and yum yum yum! You are supposed to grill the crab, you can do it on your own or ask them to do it, and then dip it into the salt and a little lemon.  Wow, amazing!

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The finished product looks absolutely amazing.

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In the meantime, our Claypot Crab Rice was steaming away!

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Crab Tempura!

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Next we got some crab sushi and the square crab roll. Tasted absolutely great!

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A little clear soup for us to enjoy.

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And then our Claypot Crab Rice was done!

The look was amazing and the smell awesome.  I couldn’t wait to dig in.

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It comes with an accompaniment of soup, wasabi and cilantro and pickles.  And they are used in eating the rice, but in the end it’s your option how you want to eat it.

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They explain to you how to eat the rice and what your options are.

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I went with option 3, without soup, and option 4, with soup.  I preferred it dry, without the soup, but Lena loved it with the soup.  The flavor though was just outstanding.

And we finished off with some fruits.

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Very full, and glad we didn’t order a second kaiseki set.  I don’t know that we could have finished it all!

When in Osaka, this is a must. There is no doubt about it.  Now I hear that there is a restaurant just like this, except it specialize in Lobster!  I want to find that place!

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