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Yakitori Matsuoka


A new face to Osaka's fine-dining scene, self-taught Chef Hiroki Matsuoka turns yakitori into a gastronomic experience with impressive technique and creativity. Black Satsuma chicken is first aged to deepen its flavor and charcoal-grilled for a smoky, juicy finish. The rich broth of the signature ramen bowl is unforgettable. Landing on a Michlin star just a year after opening, Yakitori Matsuoka is set to become a gourmet favorite.

Surrounded by old-fashioned Japanese townhouses, Yakitori Matsuoka is located in a quiet residential neighborhood near Tanimachi 6-chome subway station. Inside the softly-lit dining room, Matsuoka stands behind the open grill, surrounded by guests seated at the wide counter. Carefully controlling the heat from the burning charcoal, he works on each skewer to bring out as much flavor of the ingredients.

"What's important for yakitori is the potential of the chicken itself and the quality and temperature of the charcoal,” he explains. “The craft of charcoal grilling is not something you can easily learn from someone else. By practicing over and over again, I derived my own method that yields the best results.”

From chicken skewers to seasonal dishes, the omakase menu is a lavish feast of 20 courses. The chef makes sure guests don’t feel bored or too full by incorporating different condiments and small plates like blanched chicken breasts and bruschetta. I want the guests to enjoy the meal from start to finish, he says.

The extensive menu is perhaps a reflection of the chef’s diverse background. Born in Himeji City in Hyogo Prefecture, his family ran a store that specialized in kombu maki, a traditional rolled sea kelp cooked in a sweet and salty sauce. Without realizing, he learned a lot about cooking from an early age and developed a sharp sense for flavors.

First starting out as a bartender in Osaka, he decided to adventure abroad and spent the next four years in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, taking on various jobs in restaurants, local stores and farms. Once returning to Japan, he worked outside the food industry in order to save enough money to open his own restaurant. He realized that dream with Yakitori Matsuoka in 2023. “All of my past experiences have led me to who I am today,'' he says.



Appeal to your five senses

Yakitori Matsuoka’s extravagant omakase menu weaves in flavors that appeal to your five senses. Not limited to yakitori, the small dishes from vegetables to noodles showcase the chef’s culinary talent. Served in beautiful crockery, every dish brings together a superb combination of flavors, highlighting the natural qualities of the ingredients themselves.

Matsuoka uses a black Satsuma chicken from Kagoshima Prefecture called Kokuo. One of Japan's premium free-range chicken, the meat has incredible texture and flavor. The thigh meat, also known as aka, is grilled with a special sauce until golden and glossy on the outside. The lighter breast meat is wrapped in crispy skin and sprinkled with salt. The drop of chive paste adds another layer of flavor. The classic Negima skewer uses thighs and negi onions. Every bite is juicy, smokey and packed with umami.

A warm bowl of nyumen noodles gives the stomach a break from the grilled foods. The thin noodles are tossed in a light dashi broth, made from bonito and sardines. During the summer, the noodles are served cold with slices of sudachi citrus.

Chicken breasts are gently bathed in warm water. Lightly blanched, the soft filets are flavored with homemade sesame soy sauce and served with marinated kinkan eggs of Kokuo chicken.

Served around half way through the meal, the bruschetta is a lovely small dish that pairs well with wine. Roasted onions and chicken breasts are layered on a piece of toasted bread and garnished with mustard seeds, sprouts, fukunegi green onions and parmesan cheese.

As the final course, you can choose a bowl of ramen or rice cooked in a donabe pot. The ramen soup is a masterpiece that takes time to make.

“The first thing I realized after opening the restaurant was how lucky we are that the quality of ingredients are so good here. It puts us steps ahead of restaurants in other countries just because of that. Japan is truly blessed with incredible produce,” he says. He sources top-quality black Satsuma chicken breed called Kokuo from a farm in Kagoshima Prefecture. Fresh meat is delivered daily, which is dry aged at the restaurant for a couple of days for its flavor to deepen.

Other ingredients are also carefully selected from independent producers across Japan. Kita Akari, a type of potatoes that are aged for two years, come from Hokkaido. Mochi Tororo is a brand of mountain yam with extra stickiness. Best cuts of Kirishima Royal Pork are sent in from Kagoshima.

To complement the flavorful cuisine, Matsuoka stocks a fine selection of sake and wines. There are more than a dozen sake available by the glass, including vintages like Isojiman and Kokuryu that are hard to come by. He also has bottles of lovely Champagnes like Krug and rare vintages from Kenzo Estate that pair well with the grilled dishes.

Yakitori Matsuoka cuisine #0
Yakitori Matsuoka cuisine #1


Hiroki Matsuoka

Hiroki Matsuoka was born in Himeji City in Hyogo Prefecture. His family owned a kombu-maki store, a traditional delicacy made with rolled kombu cooked in a sweet and salty sauce. Just by watching his family, he learned a lot about cooking from an early age. The kitchen was his playground.

“It was my dad who taught me a lot about food,” he says. “By the time I started working, I instinctively knew how one ingredient went well with another ingredient without even tasting it,” he explains.

His curious personality led him to pursue a path outside his family business. When he was 20 years old, he started working at a bar in Osaka, first aiming to become a bartender. He later worked at a yakitori restaurant for a short time where he learned some basic techniques. Feeling limited in opportunities within Japan, he decided to try living abroad. For the next four years, he moved around Canada, Australia and New Zealand, exploring different regions while hopping from one job to another. In Australia, he traveled extensively across the country while working on farms and local stores. When he arrived in Darwin, he printed 50 copies of his resume and walked around distributing them at every restaurant.

“I learned how important it is to have a skill. If I could cook well, I felt I could live anywhere in the world,” he recalls. Working at local restaurants, he was able to learn a great deal about local produce and wine as well as the culture of the area.

After returning to Japan in 2018, he went back to his hometown of Himeji. With a goal to eventually own a restaurant, he took on jobs outside the industry to make money for the project. In 2023, he finally opened Yakitori Matsuoka. Recognized for his excellent cuisine, the restaurant won a Michelin star within a year of the opening. “We work hard to make our guests feel that the food we serve is worth more than the price,” he says.

I want to make Yakitori Matsuoka into a restaurant that people say, “It’s the best restaurant in Osaka!” the chef says. Ambitious and eager, he says he is always aiming to improve his cuisine. “I want to continue refining not only the grilled dishes but the traditional Japanese-style courses to elevate the experience of the entire meal,” he says. With hope that guests will want to continue coming back to savor our dishes, I want them to enjoy a fun and relaxed time here, he adds. While this may still be a long way off, he said he has a vision to open a restaurant overseas like Australia someday.


Sake is a special part of the experience at Yakitori Matsuoka. Thanks to his connection to an excellent store in Osaka, the chef stocks a remarkable selection of Juyondai sake, made by Takagi Shuzo Brewery in Yamagata Prefecture. Now among one of the most sought after sake in the marketplace, Tatsuno Otoshigo Junmai Ginjo Namazume and Arabashiri are extremely hard to come by. Nakadori Muroka and Funatare are also excellent choices to pair with the meal.

“You can notice the difference the moment you drink a Juyondai sake,” he says. “It’s so light and smooth with a nice touch of fruitiness.”


6PM and 8:30PM
Yakitori Matsuoka omakase course
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
  • The price includes our booking fee of ¥8,000
Reservation Request


Yakitori Matsuoka


& UP
Yakitori, Tanimachi
1F, 〒542-0063 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Tohei, 1 Chome−4−17
6PM and 8:30PM seating


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