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Osaka Quest : Jiyuken’s special curry (TKG)

Date Published: Last Update:2014/11/12 Food , , , , , ,

In this post, I’m going to tell you about the oldest western food restaurant called “Jiyuken” in Osaka. Opened in 1910, Jiyuken’s retro-flavored appearance is now quite distinctive among newly built shops in the “Sennichimae” arcade in Nanba.


The name “Jiyuken”
“Jiyuken” can be translated as “The Freedom House”. According to the official website, the first owner named his restaurant after the “Freedom and People’s Rights Movement” (in Japanese, “Jiyu minken undo”). It was very active movement for democracy at that time, and the owner wanted to bring a new spirit.

The specialty of the restaurant
There is a specialty dish called “Meibutsu curry”. There is a specialty dish, called “Meibutsu curry”. “Meibutsu” means famous or specialty.
When it was opened, it was difficult to serve warm rice because there were no rice cookers around. (You can’t keep rice on fire, because it will get hard and dry) So, the owner mixed warm curry with (cold) rice and served it at a cheap price. It soon became very popular.

Also, he put a raw egg on it. (Eggs were expensive back then) This is how the “Meibutsu curry” was born.

Enjoy three tastes in one dish!

  1. First, eat as it is.
    It’s a bit hot, but it’s good to taste the original flavor.
  2. Next, add a little bit of Worcester sauce.
    The sauce matches the curry. Yummy!
  3. Then, mix the raw egg, curry and rice. TKG! TKG!
    The taste gets mild. When you break the yolk, you can see it’s soft-boiled because of the heat of the rice, and that gives you the extraordinary taste.

If you don’t like spicy taste, just follow this step.

Why raw egg?
“Jiyuken” is said to be the first restaurant which started to put a raw egg on top of the curry. Raw egg on curry is common in Osaka, but not so popular in other areas in Japan.
I heard this rumor;
A person came to Osaka and orderd curry and rice at a restaurant. An egg was also served together with the curry and rice. Believing it’s a boiled egg, he (or she) broke the egg at the corner of the table … and you can imagine what happened. Anyway, mixing with a raw egg makes curry less spicy, so it would be easier to eat for children. Some people say strawberry jam would be the best to lessen the spiciness. I don’t know if it’s true because I have no guts to try this. If you are brave enough to try “strawberry jam curry and rice”, let me know how the taste is like.

If you can’t eat any spicy food, there is another specialty, “Haishi rice”. (Not the “Hayashi rice” or hashed beef rice)
I’ve only had these two specialties, but of course there are other dishes. You can see samples of dishes in front of the restaurant.
jiyuken_Nenu_1 jiyuken_Nenu_2
Enjoy the dish and the atmosphere of the good old Japan.

■Store information■
3−1−34 Nanba, Chūō-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka
Closed: Monday


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A Japanese born in Osaka, now living in Okayama.

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