The transition from Sydney’s cold and rainy 17°C to Osaka’s hot and sticky 38°C was not easy. Our plane landed at about 6pm and by the time we arrived at our hotel, it was already past 9pm. The plan was originally to head to Dōtonbori to absorb as much culture as possible but that was scrapped as soon as we realised how humid it actually was.

So we checked-in to the hotel – ANA Crowne Plaza – refreshed ourselves and down the street we walked.

By now, it is past 11pm and these back streets are slowly clearing.

We spot a restaurant which advertises a closing time of 3am and head right in.

せんば屋 (Sembaya) restaurant, Osaka, Japan  - interior

The interior of the restaurant is quite homely and charming. Amongst a menu of sashimi and nigiri, we all lay our eyes on the udon – pure comfort food.

Three have the 肉うどん (niku udon, ¥1280) and one orders the 上えび天ぷらうどん (shrimp tempura udon, ¥1280).

せんば屋 (Sembaya) restaurant, Osaka, Japan  - udon with beef and udon with tempura prawn

I have the えび天ぶっかけうどん (ebi ten bukkake udon, ¥1280), which more directly translate into ‘prawn noodle heaven bukkake‘. ‘Bukkake‘ means to pour, so bukkake udon is essentially a bowl of udon noodles with a splash of chilled mentsuyu (a soy-based broth).

The tempura was the perfect combination of lightness and crunch and the size of the prawn was satisfyingly large.

せんば屋 (Sembaya) restaurant, Osaka, Japan  - cold udon with tempura prawns

There are lots of ways of eating udon but this is my preferred method on
heated days like this as it doesn’t involve me breaking into a sweat!

せんば屋 (Sembaya) restaurant, Osaka, Japan  - dinner

せんば屋 (Sembaya) restaurant, Osaka, Japan  -

While we accidentally stumbled into this amazing cheap eat, it did set a precedent for the remainder of the trip. Would all our discoveries be as delicious?

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せんば屋 (Sembaya)
1-2-15, Kita-ku, Osaka Dojima Plaza San Hamamura 1F, Osaka, Japan
Phone: +81 06-6346-4688
Web: www.sembaya.com

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
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