[Osaka] Isomaru Suisan 磯丸水産 is a popular Japanese style izakaya known for its reasonably-priced seafood with downtown beach vibes.

Over in Osaka, there are branches at Umeda, Kita-Shinsaibashi, Sannomiya, Namba and Dontonbori. You may have also walked past one of its chain stores at Tokyo, found at many touristy places such Asakusa, Roppongi and Shinjuku.

To be honest, this wasn’t my first choice of a meal as I tend not to visit too many chain or touristy restaurants. But the vibrant ambience and not-bad food actually won me over.

The plus point is that most branches are opened 24/7, so you don’t have to worry about going hungry. Especially when you need sashimi or seafood in the middle of the night.

There is a distinctive look for Isomaru Suisan. Its old-fashioned decoration with giant flags often flown from fishing boats of Japan, and smoky smell may make you feel as if you are in a fishing port.

This Izakaya restaurant has lively atmosphere (especially at night) and layout that makes for a great dining experience.

You will find colourful fishes swimming around playfully in the water tank, and a lovely nautical setup with retro posters, shipping boxes of seafood, paper lanterns and fishermen’s flags.

The vibes are generally laid back and casual, and you can enjoy your meal with alcoholic beverages.

I went during lunch, and one of the recommended is the 2-Type Tuna Bowl for ¥590, a steal for SGD7.40 equivalent.

The donburi was topped with sizable slices of the usual reddish maguro and albacore tune (longfin tuna). Won’t say it was exceptional, but the fish was still sweet and fresh-tasting.

Also available is an Overflowing Seafood Bowl (¥1,185, SGD14.80).

For some cooked food, Chinese Fried Rice with Crab (¥599 yen), with reasonable consistency and texture, a tantalisingly fresh taste of crabs that didn’t overpower other ingredients.

Some of the must-orders include the Famous Kani (crab) Miso (¥499, SGD6.20), Foil-Roasted Squid and Mushroom (¥499), Fresh Whole Scallop in Shell (¥699 for 2, SGD8.40), Kiwami Amberjack (¥699).

I was little surprised the waitress brought a tiny grill to the table, then placed the seafood ordered – scallops, squid, clams on the grill.

She came over periodically to help flip the pieces, but I would said do not be too dependent on the service staff as they would get busy and forget about your table.

Thus landing up with slightly burnt pieces, inviting smoke and stares.

The Famous Kani (crab) Miso was indeed the highlight. While the inside appearance was medium-grey in colour like melted cement or something, the creamy paste was absolutely delicious full of that brinny seafood taste and crab sweetness.

I wished I kept some of that rice so that I could mix the crab miso in.

Since this is 24 hours in operation, it is really somewhere you can fill your stomach and drink to heart’s content with a bunch of friends without burning a whole in your wallet.

Isomaru Suisan Namba 磯丸水産
542-0071 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Dotonbori, 1 Chome−9−13 1・2F
Tel: +81 6 6474 0770
Opening Hours: 24 Hours

Isomaru Suisan Nambanankaidorit
11-22 Nanbasennichimae, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0075, Japan
Tel: +81 6 6630 6801
Opening Hours: 24 Hours

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