Last weekend, I got in the cleaning mood. Well, it was actually more of a complete house reorganisation following the tidying method of the Japanese decluttering guru Marie Kondo. To the delight of Chéri and the kids of course- NOT! To celebrate our hard work, I invited Chéri to a restaurant. Of course, it had to be a Japanese one to stay within the theme of our weekend. Restaurant Osakaya in Béziers has recently done some renovations and has transformed into a sophisticated eating venue where you can enjoy heavenly Japanese food.
Chéri and I had visited Osakaya before when it still was a little restaurant serving fresh sushi and sashimi with a selection of yakitori skewers. We hadn’t been back since the renovation. Therefore, we were pleasantly surprised when we stepped into the wholly transformed restaurant. The interior has changed from a takeaway style restaurant into a serene and elegant dining room divided into two parts. I loved the harmonious use of wood in the modern wall decorations, floors and tables, which gives the whole interior a natural sleekness. A few tastefully lit pieces of art added to the subtle Japanese touches. So far, so good!
While we were seated, we peeked some sneaky looks at the beautifully plated dishes the other customers had in front of them. It all looked so scrumptious that it took ages for us to choose from the menu. Finally, Chéri decided to order some dishes à la carte. And I went for the ‘Menu Traditionnel’ for 31 euros, including a starter, one warm dish, one cold dish and a dessert. To start off this festive evening, we enjoyed a beautiful plum wine that came with some wasabi nibbles. Chéri began his meal with a miso soup to warm him up, accompanied by four ‘Karaage’- fried chicken nuggets Japanese style. I received a wooden tray with three gorgeous looking dishes: a little bundle of fresh salad, one scallop and a few eggplant tempuras that both came in a hearty stock, chock-full of umami flavour.
While Chéri received his perfectly grilled ‘Kamo Yakitori’ (duck skewer), the friendly waitress brought in my warm dish. The fillet of turbot was presented on a beautiful ceramic plate in blue hues. And of course, the steamed fish was another example of the refined food Osakaya serves. In a fit of enthusiasm, Chéri ordered another two dishes, which came at the same time as my cold dish. Both of us revelled in this third course. Chéri was happy with his Tai (sea bream) sashimi (see photo at the top of the page) and salmon maki roll, which is one of Osakaya’s signature dishes. And my sushi and California rolls tasted great too.
French Sushi Championship
To conclude our excellent dinner, Chéri ordered two scoops of ice-cream coated with a thin layer of rice paste. My ‘Menu Traditionnel’ also included dessert, and I chose the maki with nutella and coconut. If it wasn’t for Marie Kondo, I wouldn’t have thought about making a reservation at Osakaya, as I have many many other restaurants on my wishlist… But we were both pleasantly surprised by this renewed destination, and definitely will come back with the kids. The restaurant’s chef, Ping Zhang, has already participated three times in the French Sushi Championship, where he came second in 2019. We are so lucky to have such a talented chef in Béziers!