The Osaka Trading Co was another restaurant we visited while I was on my Food Safari with my brother in Sydney recently. The thing I really liked about this choice is that we got to try things that I had seen and heard of before but had yet to eat.
We had already consumed a lot of food in a short space of time at this point so we didn’t go nuts but just had a couple of things from their lunch menu.
A few weeks before this Sydney trip I had seen this soft shell crab bao photo on the Osaka Trading Co’s Instagram feed:
This reminded me of a place that I have on my Newcastle Bucket List, the Bao Brothers Eatery, that I can’t wait to try. So I had to have it.
On their Lunch Menu they just list it as a Crab Bun.
The problem with this is that I didn’t realise I hadn’t told my brother what we were eating. So when it came out I dug in whilst he hesitantly stared at it.
He was put off by the fact that the crab was still 100% crab shape as it still had it’s shell. So he asked “How do I eat this? Do I take the shell off?”
Now we ate a lot of crab growing up. Going fishing with Dad and Grandad was something we did often and we would always go to this particular spot and try catch some crabs. It feels like more often than not we would come home with some.
Something I hated at the time but love to reminisce about now is that when we caught one it would just be dropped in the bottom of the boat to crawl around as it pleased. The crabs nipping at their feet didn’t phase Dad or Grandad, but as kids it totally freaked us out so we would sit with our feet up on the seats and a keen eye on them.
But soft shelled crab is a new thing to me, and possibly something my brother had not heard about, if so he had at least never seen one.
I also didn’t realise that I had taken the less crab-like one and he was left with the one on the right. The one with crab legs hanging out and the top shell clearly visible.
I must admit, I understand his hesitation. Being used to hard shelled crabs, but even just the fact that I too struggle to eat some foods that are cooked whole. There’s something about eating an animal that hasn’t been broken down and still looks mostly the way it did when it was alive.
Anyway, he got there, he pulled off a few legs, making it look less crab like and bit in. He wasn’t too much of a fan but I think the eating a crab with it’s shell still on was still the main factor.
He called it. He was done.
But, always there to have his back, I encouraged him to go again. I think the less like a crab it started to look the more he enjoyed it. Though I’m still not sure it makes his list of things he now eats.
So me, how did I go?! Yeah I had a slight weird feeling towards it but was a whole lot more invested in the experience. I enjoyed it, though my last bites were better then my first as I was more into it. It was very oily though, the crab held a decent amount of oil from the deep fryer. I think I would have liked a little less of that dripping out as I bit in.
If having lunch though it certainly needs to be eaten with something else as it’s only really snack sized.
After finishing these my brother looked up at the board and thought we should try the Edamame. This is one of the things I love about food and him. He wasn’t sure how to pronounce it and certainly had absolutely no idea what it was yet still ordered it. It was like a food lucky dip for him.
I was pretty sure it would be edamame beans. I had heard of these, had even seen them on some cooking shows, but never had them. So I was looking forward to trying something I’d wanted to for a while. If I was indeed correct… otherwise I too was having a lucky dip.
I didn’t know how they would be served though. Were they with something, were they by themselves, I don’t know.
I enjoyed the little game we played as we sat at the counter watching food being prepared and put up ready to be taken to customers. As each dish was made we would make comments like “is that it?”, “I hope it’s not that one!”, and “ooh that’s looks good, I hope it’s that”.
I eventually told him that I think it might be a bowl of beans. I don’t think he loved that idea, just a bowl of beans.
So it eventually came out and looked like this:
I was keen to try it but I sensed a little disappointment from him that it was indeed just a bowl of beans.
The thing is though they served it with an empty bowl too. I’m all ready with the chopsticks to dig into this thing but then took a mental step backwards when I saw this. What was the bowl for? Obviously we have to discard something, but what bit.
So as all good and experienced foodies do I googled “how to eat edamame beans” 😉
Turns out you discard the whole pod. Thinking back I’d only seen the insides of them before.
So now armed with the instructions on how to, we dug in to the Osaka Trading Co’s edamame beans. These things are tasty!! Like delicious even.
Who would have thought, a vegetable that I could see myself happily sitting back and snacking on while watching TV. That I would choose just like I’d choose a bag of chips or the like.
So by now we were stuffed. Full as.
Our foodie day had started big, and it was good.
Based on these dishes, the atmosphere, and the service we received, I’m going to give them 6.5 deep fried creatures out 10.
I’d happily return to try some of their other dishes.
Osaka Trading Co
Open seven days
Lunch: 12:00pm – 3.00pm
Dinner: 6pm till late
Tramsheds, Harold Park
1 Dalgal Way, Forest Lodge, NSW