It’s finally gotten cold in Memphis, and the weather has given me some rather extreme soup cravings. I think I’ve eaten some sort of pho or bisque or broth for at least four of my last five meals. Today was no different – when I met my friend Joey for lunch at Osaka in Cordova, I went straight for the udon.
Osaka has three kinds of udon – vegetable tempura, shrimp and seafood tempura. My order of vegetable udon came with a plate piled high with lightly battered and fried potatoes, mushrooms and broccoli. I wasn’t sure whether or not I was supposed to put the tempura into the soup, so I just ate them separately. (Pro tip: eat the tempura while it’s warm – it’s way better that way.)
The soup was a huge bowl of slightly salty vegetable broth with fat udon noodles and bok choy. It wasn’t overwhelmingly flavorful, but the noodles (and the batter from the tempura) made it filling.
I also had a house salad, which was fairly typical of most Japanese restaurants in Memphis – iceberg lettuce covered in thick, tangy ginger dressing. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more to Osaka’s salad. It was just lettuce, no tomatoes or carrots.
Osaka also has a full sushi menu, and everything I saw leaving the counter looked delicious. Most of the rolls seemed completely affordable (between $5 – $10). If you’re not into sushi or soup, they have a hibachi grill as well. At lunch today, the restaurant was fairly crowded, but the service was friendly and quick.
There are three Osaka locations (Cordova, Collierville and Olive Branch) and all are open for lunch and dinner.