O-noya: Unforgettable Tempura | Clozette

With the impending approach of Typhoon Hagibis, touted to be one of the fiercest typhoons to hit Japan in the last 60 years, the outlook for our planned leisure programs in Osaka over the coming weekend was looking dim. Our spirits were lifted when our Japanese business partner treated us to a lovely dinner.

O-Noya interior

Left: O-Noya Private Room (o-noya.com); Right: Inside O-Noya

Established in 1951 in a quiet residential-looking section of Shimamachi, Chuo-ku of Osaka, O-noya (大乃や) occupies a large verdant courtyard housing a banquet hall that’s elegantly decked out in traditional Japanese beige tones contrasted by timber pillars and wood trimmings, with private tatami rooms framed by shoji doors that open up to views of the zen sculptured grounds. The main restaurant specialises in Kaiseki cuisine that celebrates the changing of the seasons.

O-Noya ambience

Our dinner was at a separate tempura restaurant adjacent to the banquet hall, linked by a wooden covered walkway that's flanked by pebbles and pockets of beautifully manicured gardens and water features, gently lit up by the soft glow cast from strategically placed lanterns.

The intimate tempura restaurant has only 13 seats planted along a long counter crafted from a single piece of wood; our host, a close relative of the restaurant owner, had booked the entire place for our group.

The dinner began with an introduction to three kinds of exotic salt dips: a sea salt from Nagasaki, seaweed salt from Awaji Island and salt from Bolivia up in the Andes Mountains. Our meal started with a deceptively simple-looking Tofu on a bed of soya sauce, garnished with a drop of wasabi and delighting with its creaminess, heralding good things ahead.

O-Noya Sashimi

A plate of Sashimi

Before the main act came a plate of Sashimi comprising an assortment of seafood: Tuna, Sea Bream, Shrimp and Japanese Horse Mackerel, each piece as fresh as it can be.

Ueda Tooru

Tempura Masterchef Ueda Tooru

Lording over the kitchen is Tempura Masterchef Ueda Tooru, with over 10 years of tempura-making under his belt. We’re mesmerised by his deft movements, weaving seamlessly from the preparation of the tempura batter to skimming the loose crisps from the oil — skillfully turning the raw ingredients into light and delightful golden morsels. We were impressed by how he, with a few quick moves, transformed the Ayu “sweetfish” — a small fish pregnant with roe that’s in season — to stand on our plate.

Tempura Tile fish

Left: Tilefish; Right: Shrimp

Beet and Fish

Left: Fig & Vegetable; Right: Butterfish & Shiso

The stream of tempura items kept coming, so it was hard to recall all of them, except that nothing that could be faulted. Worthy mentions were the tasty Conger Eel, a thick fillet of Tilefish that exuded a firm bite served with a small citrus fruit, and a Butterfish patty wrapped with Shiso leaf. The final item of Tempura Figs was surprisingly delectable, the soft sweet fruit contrasting well with the crisp savoury batter.

Kubota Manju Junmai Daiginjo

The dinner course was well paired with a bottle of Kubota Manju Junmai Daiginjo, a top-shelf sake by the revered century-old Asahi Shuzo Brewing Company in the Niigata Prefecture. This divine sake harbours flora notes and delivers a crisp and clean finish with a rounded, velvety mouthfeel.

Different courses at O-Noya

A rice or noodle dish is a customary end to most formal Japanese dinners. We agonised over options of chilled Green Tea Soba with soy dipping sauce, Tempura Cake on rice and miso soup, Flavoured Fishbaits on rice with Japanese sansyu pepper and miso soup, and my choice of Tempura Cake Chazuke — battered mixed vegetables atop a small mound of rice, drenched with piping hot tea.

Dessert came in the form of a zesty Yuzu Sherbet, ending an exquisite dinner filled with convivial conversations that enlightened us with insights into Japanese food, culture and customs. As we left the serene ambience of O-noya, the stillness of the night air reminded us of the calm before the storm — but our spirits were high, literally and figuratively speaking, thanks in part to the generous flow of the unforgettable sake and the artisan culinary experience that will long linger in our minds.

O-noya Tempura is at 1 Chome-3-5 Shimamachi, Chuo Ward, Osaka, 540-0034, Japan



It’s Monday and we’re back to hustle! As you work towards your goals, keep your week interesting by reading up on all the exciting news. From content creators in the Philippines enjoying a night of glitz and glam at the E! Pop Gala to Emily Ratajkowski being sued for posting a photo on IG — here are all the juiciest updates you need to know for the days to come. Read up and get your week started with these fresh bites.

Filipino content creators enjoy a dazzling E! Pop Gala

This year, E! Philippines’ annual E! Bloggers Ball got an exciting update. Opening this year as the E! Pop Gala, the event held at City of Dreams Manila last 27 October was definitely bigger and better. Now on its fourth year, E! Pop Gala marks the annual gathering of the digital community in the Philippines. From bloggers, vloggers, to online celebrities and influencers (including some members of our very own Clozette Community) — all the trendsetters were there for a night to remember. Hosted by TV presenter Janeena Chan with performances by local acts, the gala was a celebration of pop culture, with the most influential guests coming in glam outfits inspired by iconic fashion moments. Check out the awardees above.

Is it friendship over for Jeffree Star and Tati Westbrook?

Meanwhile, drama seems to be brewing yet again within the digital community on the other side of the globe. After defending Tati Westbrook during her feud with James Charles, beauty mogul Jeffree Star has reportedly unfollowed his friend on Twitter and Instagram. Neither of them has commented on it publicly, but fans are speculating it might have been because Tati released her eyeshadow palette one week before Jeffree and Shane Dawson released theirs. So, is it really friendship over for the two? Let’s wait until all tea is spilled — perhaps we’ll even find out on their upcoming videos on YouTube.

Emily Ratajkowski is being sued for posting a photo of herself on IG

Life can be really messy for celebrities. Even more so for Emily Ratajkowski right now. Apparently, photographer Robert O’Neil has filed a lawsuit against the model for copyright infringement. The image was of Emily taken while she was out in New York. She posted it on her Instagram stories, which was live for 24 hour. The photographer is claiming she used his image without properly crediting him. He’s seeking USD150,000 plus the profits the model made from his work. This isn’t the first time he sued a celebrity for using his photos without credit; last time, it was Gigi Hadid for posting a photo of Zayn Malik. Should celebrities have no ownership of photos taken of them? What do you think?

Maje launches their first sustainable collection

Maje releasing their first-ever sustainable collection and content creators in the Philippines enjoying the E! Pop Gala are just two of the biggest news this weekend.

On a more positive note, French fashion brand Maje makes a statement with the launch of their first-ever sustainable collection. The brand takes their first step towards a more ethical approach on fashion with First Stone, a capsule collection of denim. In case you didn't know, making denim is one of the most wasteful production processes in the industry. By adopting new stone-wash techniques in the production, Maje has made a considerable reduction to their water, chemical, and energy consumption. The eco-friendly collection is showcased by three women — Nuria, Michaela, and Bianca — who are actively spearheading initiatives for the environment. Work your way towards sustainable living, too, by shopping the capsule collection when it comes out this November in Maje’s boutique in Marina Bay Sands.

(Cover photo from: HazelStyleWitch)

Need more? See last week’s updates here.



Kaftans (or caftans) is one of the most comfortable pieces of clothing that a woman can wear — but it can also look quite dated if you don’t know which piece to choose. This flowy piece seems to be too casual for officewear and too summery to just be worn in any weather. But is it? Kaftans have also appeared on the runway, including shows by Gucci and Tory Burch. Stylish status? Definitely up there. Not to mention, kaftans are also wonderfully comfortable. How can you pull off the kaftan and incorporate it into your daily wear? Check out the following styling tips.

Pastel-coloured kaftan

(Photo from: Paperkitties)

Choose white

White kaftans are not only fresh to look at but they are also the easiest to style. Bold and colourful accessories stand out when you’re wearing white and accessorising it with leather pieces like sandals, belts or bags just adds a touch of rugged beauty to it. 

Pair with pants

Pants and kaftan? Why not? Add a bit of boho flair to your ensemble by pairing a flared denim pants with a mid-leg kaftan. Wear a nice simple tank inside so you have the option to take off the kaftan when it gets too hot. 

Over an LBD

Need to go somewhere a bit formal? A neutral-coloured kaftan over a little black dress is a nice elegant option to consider. Simply wear the kaftan over your black dress (better if this is a slip dress) then pair with a dressy clutch and bright-coloured kitten heels. 

Leather and kaftans

No, we’re not suggesting that you find yourself a leather kaftan but a kaftan paired with leather pieces creates a nice ensemble for going out. Choose a fabric with a plain, neutral colour and then accessorise with leather pieces to contrast. With that, you’d be good to go with a minimalist look.

Embrace the Mexican aesthetic

Do you love the bright colours and floral embroidery of most Mexican fabrics? We do, too. Which is why Mexican-inspired kaftans will always be a big “yes” for us. Choose bright-coloured tunic-types or long dresses with bright embroidery for a nice and fun casual style. Then pair it with your favourite leather sandals, simple jewellery, and woven bag to complete the look. 

(Cover photo from: Paperkitties)

Next, try the wide-legged pants trend.