If you are in search for the best bluefin tuna in Osaka, look no further. Owned by a young chef that left his long-established family restaurant to test his own potential, Sushi Oga is among the selected few that sources from Japan’s top tuna vendor Yamayuki. Served on a refined collection of antique tableware, be blown away by the quality of each morsel of sushi, presented so perfectly in front of you.
Born as the fourth-generation son of sushi bar Yasuke, Shinichiro Oga opened his own restaurant in 2018 with a passion to serve top-quality sushi centered around tuna. Located on the southern side of Osaka City, the little restaurant sits just across his father’s where he previously trained.
Tucked away behind cream-colored stone walls, the traditional entrance to Sushi Oga entices guests with its beautiful details. Through the wooden gate, you can peak at the stone-paved steps, dimly lit with an antique floor lantern that sits next to a chestnut tree.
Inside the wooden hirayazukuri style house, the air is still and peaceful. The two-leveled counter, made of kiso hinoki wood, seats just eight guests. In front of each seat, you find an antique plate, each individually designed and hand made by the legendary potter, Rosanjin. The spotlights above have been installed to shed just the right amount of light to bring every dish to life.
Oga’s sushi centers around five to six tuna dishes, complemented by an assortment of other seasonal catches and small dishes. The variety of tuna cuts comes from Yamayuki, a famous wholesaler in Tsukiji that has long specialized in the fish. It took visits after visits to convince owner Yukitaka Yamaguchi to start dealing with young chef. Oga’s dedication in the end earned him access to one of the country’s best vendors.
Tuna stands front and center of the cuisine
Tuna stands front and center of the cuisine at Sushi Oga. Caught off the shores of Oma in Aomori Prefecture, the selection of five or six different cuts, each so unique in color, texture and flavor, allows guests to savor such a wide variety of the popular fish. Each section is prepared using customized techniques and at slightly different temperature.
The chef’s seasonal omakase menu begins with a parade of small dishes like sashimi of Japanese blue crab and white fish. Ankimo, monkfish liver, is steamed, sieved finely and served cold. Fresh catches are grilled over crackling charcoal while in-season vegetables are steamed to bring out their fresh flavors.
Unlike most other sushi bars that start with white fish, the first nigiri at Sushi Oga is the tuna. The chef likes to start with different parts of the fish, especially from around the back fin. Akami, the meatier part, is flavored gently with a mix of different soy sauces, mirin and sake.
The meal flows through lighter flavored sushi ike white fish and surf clams. Sea bream from Ehime Prefecture has been resting for three to four days and infused with umami of Rishiri kombu. Ink squid is softened by making shallow slits on the surface. Mackerel is prepared using Edomae technique, its flavor tightened using salt and vinegar. Gizzard shad is also salted. Now, a trio of fatty tunas. The piece of chutoro is mouthwatering just to look at with the streaks of fat, or sashi, beautifully and equally marbled. The otoro is close to pink with a perfect balance of fat and meat. Jabara toro, the richest part of the fish, simply disappears in your mouth.
Creamy flavors like sea urchin, salmon roe and saltwater eel follow before wrapping up with a negitori maki and sweet egg.
The tuna at Sushi Oga comes from Yamayuki in Toyosu, a dream vendor for many sushi chefs across Japan. “To win their recognition, I used to bring them a tub of my shari rice to try,” remembers Oga, who still continues to make the deliveries. “President Yamada (of Yamayuki) often told me that I should never do things other people have done.”
Oga procures other seasonal catches directly from local ports like Awaji. For the shari, he uses aged koshihikari rice, flavored using a blend of vinegars. He stocks about 10 different variations of sake, mainly junmai grade with lighter notes. He also likes to offer a selection of Champagnes.
The Oga family, especially Oga’s father, has been a dedicated collector of antique ceramics including some rare Shino ware and works by Kitaoji Rosanjin. Most of the collection is stored above his father’s restaurant across the street, where the son often visits to select from the assortment of beautiful plates and sakeware. If you look around Sushi Oga, you can spot beautiful flower vases as well, also from the family’s curated collection.
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥4,000
- The price includes our booking fee of ￥4,000