551 (go go ichi) Horai is a Chinese restaurant chain in Osaka. It has both take out stalls for dim sum items and dine in restaurants. You may find their outlets located all over Osaka. The one that we went to is their flagship store, or ‘Honten,’ located in Dotonburi area. Their food is very good. During our two nights stay in Osaka we managed to go there three times.
Their buta man (pork steamed buns) is supposedly very popular, selling 100,000 per day. That’s a high number of steamed buns being eaten every day. I assumed that most of Osaka is in consensus that the butaman is very special. James, with his picky tongue, agreed with them. The butaman was very large, the largest one I’ve ever eaten. The bun was very fluffy. Inside, there was a considerable amount of juicy, savory pork filling. Indeed, it was very good, but the portion was a bit too much for me. I finished it up anyway. If you are not keen with butaman, they also have steamed buns with different fillings, such as cashiu man (barbequed pork) and an man (red bean) for you to try.
The ebi shumai was on my radar, but somehow we accidentally bought the regular shumai for our breakfast on the last day in Osaka. I was not a fan. It was too much pork for me. After one giant shumai, I felt sick. James happily finished the rest.
I thought that their tsukune, grilled chicken balls in brown sauce, was very tasty. The meat had good-to-sink-your-teeth-in texture and the sauce was sweet with a hint of vinegar.
The last item from the take out stall which we tried was the glazed roasted sweet potatoes. It was tough to chew and had little flavor. I suggest you to avoid at all cost.
If I have another chance to grab some 551 Horai take out, I would like to try their chimaki (stuffed glutinous rice) and definitely ebi shumai.
Food in their dine-in restaurant was also delicious. They had a number of set meals of very good value. Each came with three side dishes, a bowl of soup and a bowl of rice. We were satiated after sharing one set meal and a portion of their also famous yaki gyoza (grilled dumplings). Super saving! We shall return to dine next time we are in town.
551 Horai Honten
Address: 3-6-3 Namba Chuo-ku Osaka
Direction: 1 minute walk from exit 11 of “Namba Station” of subway Midosuji Line, (take the Naniwa Hondori, across the Ebisubashi street), 3minutes walk from “Namba Station” of Nankai Line.
Opening Hours: 11:00～22:00（Restaurant), 10:00～22:00（Shop）
Holidays: Third Tuesday
(Source: Osaka Info)
View Larger Map