Osaka-ya (snow cones, ice cream, manju, mochi), Sacramento - anyone?
- hhc Sep 30, 2009 11:02 PM
I read about Osaka-Ya from a poster on the SF Bay Area board. Made fresh daily for 43yrs. Anyone else have experience getting their snow cones, manju, mochi? There's 65 reviews on Yelp 4.5 stars which is Great!
2215 10th St
Sacramento, CA 95818
We are open seven days a week, except major holidays; closed for vacation, and after New Year's.
Dates are subject to change year to year, but we will try and let you know in advance.
Monday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
I have been going to Osaka-ya off and on for 35 years. I am originally from Sacramento, and the neighborhood is one of my old hangouts. Osaka-ya is the real deal, very Japanese-American take on real Japanese stuff, and the staff are wonderfully kind and helpful. My wife is Japanese and when we happen to be in Sacramento she likes to go there and get old-school Japanese sweets. I am surprised that they are still in business because they are really too "hip for the room" in Sacramento.
Sadly, the owner just passed away. I saw his obituary in the local paper last week. Hopefully the family will keep the business going.
I made my first visit to Osaka-ya today.
Here's what was on display for sale today,
I told the young man at the counter that I'd heard that it was famous for the cherry leaf confection made in the spring. While this was a bit on the early side, I asked whether they might be available, since the cherry trees were blooming early this year. I was in luck, indeed a small number of sakura domyouji had just been made. I was able to buy six of them today. Some further reading seems to indicate that these are Kansai style. Here's what they look like,
I'll have time to return on Thursday before I leave Sacramento. What else should I buy here?
re: Melanie Wong
We had the Sakura domyouji for dessert last night. My non-Asian hosts really enjoyed them as unlike anything they'd tasted before. It was my first time too. We ate the cherry leaves, which seem to be lightly pickled in a salt brine. There's an interesting savory herbal aroma, chewy faintly sweet rice, and a filling of red bean paste. Six cost me $7.50.
if they have the walnut red bean manju it is my favorite. they also have yuzu some days at this time of year.
also, they have my favorite chocolate mochi - it's by the cash register usually, not in the regular case.
i was considering buying one of the big boxes in the freezer - day old/frozen/half price just so i could try as many flavors as possible!
also, be sure to try the taiwanese grocery store next door - excellent 5 spice beef and shrimp sticks, along with soup dumplings! check them out on yelp - just try taiwanese market and you'll find the link
I did indeed return before leaving town, my last stop before jumping on the freeway back to the Bay Area. It's actually quite conveniently located for a final shopping trip.
Two days after my first visit, they'd started making sakura mochi and I got the last two pieces available, as well as more sakura domyouji. I shared these with some friends the next day and we unanimously agreed that the domyouji's whole grains of glutinous rice made for the more interesting confection.
I also picked some manju and mochi that I ate over the next four days. They kept quite well in their snug glassine wrappings. The sakura mochi was quite forgettable. The coffee manju okay but could have been more strongly flavored. I liked the thick pancake pretty well but the block of plain mochi inside was kind of boring. Best of this group was the walnut manju filled with red bean paste, a much richer and seemingly more buttery cake base.
My favorite of all were the chocolate mochi. Oh my! Soft as baby's cheeks, and the filling's like chocolate ganache.
Many thanks to rmarisco for the pointers.