Street food is one of my biggest loves of the culinary world, especially when it’s of the Japanese variety. It’s even better when you can find great Japanese street food in your local area, which is what happened when I ate at Osaka Local in Manchester.
Osaka Local are regulars of GRUB, a street food initiative that brings together vendors and traders in Manchester and helps them reach a wider audience through festivals and pop up events. On this occasion, the team were cooking at Stretford Food Hall.
A varied and filling menu
The Osaka Local menu features a great range of classic Japanese dishes, such as edamame and katsu curry, with meat and vegan options available. There’s also a good mixture of yakisobi, with pork and tofu variants to choose from.
I was drawn to the okonomiyaki, savoury pancakes that contain a hodgepodge of ingredients. As a lover of pancakes, I dived straight in by ordering the £7.50 kakuni pork belly, which came dripping in delicious otafuku sauce and kewpie mayo. It was topped off with aonari seaweed and katsuobushi fish flakes for an extra bit of flavour.
I loved the tenderness of the pork and the smokiness of the sauce. When paired with cabbage and a buttery egg taste, the kakuni pork belly truly is a highlight of a meal.
Vegetarians and vegans can also rejoice in the teriyaki tofu and nasu ten okonomiyaki. The former is made of marinated tofu and the latter features tempura aubergine.
Good service, great prices
The Osaka Local team were friendly and polite, fulfilling my order quickly. Despite how busy Stretford Food Hall was, they carried out their jobs attentively. And considering how filling the dishes are, I’d call the food great value for money.