Newly-opened Mango Tree Kitchen Gapao Daimaru Shinsaibashi specializes in phad gapao, the popular Thai dish of spicy stir-fried meat with basil leaves on rice, topped with a fried egg, with eat-in or takeaway options

Gapao Gai set served with clear soup, a spring roll, small salad, and dessert.

Mango Tree Restaurants Worldwide, the leading Thai restaurant operator, has continued its rapid expansion in Japan with the launch of a new Mango Tree Kitchen in Osaka, which specializes in phad gapao, the popular Thai dish of spicy stir-fried meat with basil leaves on rice, topped with a fried egg.

The new Mango Tree Kitchen Gapao Daimaru Shinsaibashi is perfectly positioned in Daimaru Shinsaibashi, a prominent department store in the heart of downtown Osaka’s retail district. In this central location, guests can discover a choice of tasty and authentic gapao bowls, set menus, side dishes, salads, and refreshing beverages, either to eat in or take away.

Five varieties of gapao dishes are available, including minced chicken, minced pork, crispy pork, seafood, and mixed vegetables, all of which are freshly made with holy basil, garlic, chili, and other ingredients, and served with steamed jasmine rice and a fluffy fried egg. A series of Gapao Set options are also available, allowing diners to combine their favorite gapao with clear soup, a spring roll, small salad, and dessert, creating an excellent light lunch.

Alternatively, guests can savor a choice of traditional Thai curries, spicy papaya salads and a selection of succulent chicken side dishes, including deep-fried crispy chicken and Thai-style BBQ chicken. All of these options use Japan’s famous free-range Amakusa Daio chickens, which are raised in the Amakusa area of Kumamoto prefecture and exude natural sweetness and umami.

Whichever dish diners choose, it can be enjoyed with a series of alcoholic and soft beverages, including Thai and Japanese beers, iced teas and coffees, fresh and frozen tropical juices, plus exotic blends such as butterfly pea and lime soda, and coconut milk with mango juice.

The launch of Mango Tree Kitchen Gapao Daimaru Shinsaibashi marks the latest stage of the company’s pioneering strategy of providing quick service Thai dining in areas of high footfall, such as major malls and busy transport hubs. These prime locations are expected to attract local shoppers and groups of friends seeking a light and healthy lunch, as well as office workers and commuters in search of an enticing alternative for their lunchtime takeaway.

The Mango Tree Kitchen concept focuses on famous Thai dishes that have become everyday food among Japanese diners, such as phad gapaokhao mun gai (Thai-style Hainanese chicken rice), and phad Thai (stir-fried noodles). Several outlets have already been launched in high-volume areas across Japan, including Tokyo Station, with many more planned in the future.

“Japan is one of Mango Tree’s largest and most important markets, so we are delighted to introduce another of our innovative concepts to the country. As Japan’s culinary capital, Osaka is the ideal place to introduce local diners to authentic Thai cuisine. With our prime location in Daimaru Shinsaibashi, Mango Tree Kitchen Gapao will provide quick, convenient, and above all delicious Thai cuisine to the thousands of people who pass through this popular destination every day,” said Trevor MacKenzie, Mango Tree’s Global Managing Director.

Nestled in the Chuo-ku ward of central Osaka, Shinsaibashi is the city’s main retail area. Home to covered shopping streets, department stores, global brands and boutiques, this bustling district attracts locals and tourists alike. This will make the new Mango Tree Kitchen popular not only with Japanese customers, including younger diners, female friends and family customers but also with overseas visitors, especially from other parts of Asia. This will become the first Mango Tree outlet in the southern part of Osaka, complementing the group’s three existing restaurants in the north of the city.

Mango Tree Kitchen Gapao Daimaru Shinsaibashi becomes the 27th location in the company’s fast-growing Japanese portfolio. The country will now play a significant role in Mango Tree’s global expansion strategy, as it works towards achieving a global collection of more than 100 outlets worldwide by 2025.

Osaka: a city of healthy culinary wonders

Osaka, one of Japan’s most vibrant cities, is the third largest after Tokyo and Yokohama. One of the top three culinary centers of Japan, most locals will also argue that it’s the birthplace of instant ramen (1958). No wonders as Osakans eat out about six times a week. Local favorites include oshizushi, in which sushi is placed in wooden molds and sliced; udon suki, buckwheat noodles and meat in a rich broth served in ceramic stew pot; and okonomiyaki, a batter and cabbage pancake-type dish in which you choose ingredients such as seafood or pork.

Osaka is not a glamorous place, and there is no coherent aesthetic. Often regarded as an unsentimental city driven by commerce; not as traditional as Kyoto or vibrant as Tokyo, often skipped by tourists who are actually missing out. Osakans (locals from Osaka) are noisy, warm and entertaining unless Tokyoites who mind their own business. Unlike Tokyo, which frequently looks at America (or South Korea) for inspiration, Osaka is becoming a world player in a distinctively Japanese way. Local designers have more freedom to play than their counterparts in Tokyo. A hotbed of young talents are being promoted in cafes and bookshops, street fashion remains homegrown, and design ventures that began here have tended to stay. Tadao Ando grew up in Osaka and he has had a say in how the city looks now.

The nondescript skyline is being replaced with galleries, international hotels, futuristic living spaces, and exciting postmodernist architecture. The city’s extravagant nightlife and culinary delicacies are famous worldwide.

Many cafes, studios, and galleries are filled with a new generation of Osakans, who are quietly shaping the future of their city.

To start with a guide full of useful information and detailed map, grab a free copy of Explorer Osaka

Central Osaka is split into two main districts, which meet at Chuo-odori. Kita-ku in the North around the main Osaka and Umeda stations is where many of the city big hotels, restaurants, and underground shopping can be found. Minami in the South, includes the lively downtown area called Namba, the core of the old merchant city where you will find Osaka’s best eating and drinking options including Dotonbori. This famous lane, running alongside the canal, is crammed with karaoke bars, brothels, and pachinkos parlors. It is also a mecca of cheap restaurants and bars. Namba’s many pedestrian shopping zones include America Mura and Europe-dori, with their imported goods. Den Den Town is Osaka’s premier electronic district.

Chuo-ku, the old central ward and historic center of the city is to the east. The city center is served by a user-friendly loop system called the JR Kanjo Line. Lots of sightseeing can be covered economically with a one-day pass that offers a day’s unlimited travel to subways, trams, and local train lines.

Let us take you on a healthy culinary tour around the city!

Start by dropping your suitcases and check in at the affordable and centrally located New Osaka hotel near Shinsaibashi station, in the heart of America Mura. A favorite amongst ladies who appreciate the safety of their ladies-only floors filled with amenities such as makeup removers and facial toners. The exclusive perks for ladies include POLA Kalahari skincare set and POLA aroma essences with Roman Chamomile extracts (shampoo, conditioner and body soap) provided in each of the ladies floor room.

Each floor of the hotel is set up with a wide selection of themes to help guests enjoy colorful travels in comfortable and relaxing rooms. Beds are from France with low rebound pillows to provide comfortable sleep. Smoke-free floors are also available. Free coffee and tea are provided in each room of any category.

A good start for your culinary and healthy journey is to visit Kuromon Ichiba Market, easily accessible by walk from Nippombashi station, this lively market is packed with more than 150 shops selling and serving fresh fish, meat and vegetables. With a tradition and history dating back to over 190 years old, Kuromon Ichiba Market became quickly a very well known and popular stop for ‘Gastronome’, often nicknamed ‘Osaka’s Open Kitchen’. All kinds of fresh food items are available and with the increasing number of international tourists, more and more restaurants are serving lunch or ready-to-go sushi, fresh seafood over rice, grilled fish, shellfish, meat (famous Kobe beef), pickled vegetables and other locally made dishes; a real feast for the eyes and the palates while offering a taste of several local specialties at affordable prices.

Unagi Okayama fresh eels on top of rice

For a healthy and earthy lunch, head to Unagi Okayama serving fresh eels, where the Japanese chef uses traditional preservation method to marinate the eels before grilling them in front of you. The Japanese tavern-like entrance is a little bit hidden on a side street off Nihonbashi station (exit 9). Best is to check the website for an accurate map:

The freshly grilled eels (unagi) are tender and juicy. It is commonly known that eels have lots of health benefits; nutritionally speaking, unagi contains vitamins A, B1, B2, D, and E, which are effective agents for rejuvenating the body in summer. Unsaturated fatty acids like DHA and EPA are more abundant in unagi than in other seafood. The benefits of these unsaturated fatty acids are: decreases cholesterol – lowers blood pressure – prevents vascular diseases – reduces the risk of developing arthritis – promotes normal brain development and nervous system function – promotes good eyesight.

To help digestion, walk down South towards Mido-Suji. Running from north of Kita area to as far as Namba in the Minami area and often referred to as the “Champs Elysee of the Orient”, the avenue is lined with a fabulous border of gingko trees, which cast lovely shade in the summer. Must visit are the touristic streets of Dotonbori-dori, with its landmark known all over the world with the 20m-tall Glico Man, who appears over a street-side canal. At its base, the Ebisubashi Bridge is a popular meeting spot and inevitable ‘selfies’.

The narrow stone-paved lane next to Dotonbori Street, Hozenji Yokocho feels like the Osaka of old days. Cozy and quaint, lined on both sides with small food shops and cafes, it earned instant fame with Sakunosuke Oda’s novel “Meoto Zenzai”. It is also famous for its moss-covered Fudo-myo statue, known as Mizukake Fudo. The beautiful stone-paved pathways here, and the moss-covered Buddhist figure represent the cultured aspects of Osaka.

a shop at Sennichimae Doguya-suji

Further afield is Sennichimae Doguya-suji, a shopping arcade located in Namba. Many stores specialized in cooking utensils and tableware, mainly for professional use, an indispensable shopping area for Osaka, which is renown as a city of gourmets or “the Kitchen of the Nation” where “Kuidaore” philosophy prevails.

A trip to Osaka would not be completed before eating dinner at one of the best beef restaurants: Nikusho Nakata, a yakiniku specialist, where the chef selects the highest quality beef from different parts of Japan. Additionally, each kind of beef is matched with a different kind of salt that accentuates the natural flavor of the meat. The chic, stylish atmosphere is great for business entertaining or sampling different kinds of yakiniku with friends.

Text by Vincent Sung – Supported by Explorer Osaka (Teiji TAKESHITA)


New Osaka Hotel ニューオーサカホテル心斎橋

うなぎ おかやま Unagi Okayama

肉匠 なか田 Nikusho Nakata 

Explorer Osaka and Explorer Kyoto

Double the Fun for your Japan Flights with Cathay Pacific

Explore natural scenic landscape in Japan with an option to stopover at Hong Kong on your way back, with no extra cost


Cathay Pacific invites travelers to visit Japan with the launch of the new campaign “Getaway Surprise Japan”. Travelers going to popular cities in Japan; namely Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Okinawa, Komatsu, and Sapporo, can enjoy the all-season natural beauty and lavish heritage sites while tapping on the opportunity of stopping at Hong Kong to shop and explore the lights of the city on the way back, without any additional costs. This campaign aims to create a special trip for travelers by creating an experience that will allow them to get to know both Japan and Hong Kong in one trip.

Fares of Getaway Surprise Japan:

DestinationsEconomy starts from (THB)
Osaka, Tokyo13,690
Fukuoka, Nagoya, Okinawa, Komatsu13,690

* Price includes taxes and carrier-imposed charges

Sanshoku Donburi – Three Color Rice Bowl

Travelers will be able to make memories in the famous cities of Japan like Osaka, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Nagoya, Okinawa, Komatsu, and Sapporo, as well as stopping to shop in Hong Kong during the flight.

Passengers who are interested can reserve seats today until 2 July 2019, covering travel dates from 30 April to 31 October 2019. 

For more information about the promotion, please visit or contact +66(0)2-787-3366.

For the best flight deals from your city to Japan, click here: