Pretty much every country has their version of a pancake (everybody loves pancakes). Japan’s is called okonomiyaki — a savoury pancake that’s filled with various meats and veggies. It’s an Osaka specialty, so yeah, obviously I had to try it while I was here.
And I clearly picked the right place to do it; I’ve had okonomiyaki a few times, and I’ve always liked it, though it’s never particularly stood out. The one they served at Okonomiyaki Chitose definitely stood out.
They have a few different versions on the menu. I went with the one that’s filled with shrimp, squid, pork belly, and noodles.
The chef cooks it on a griddle right in front of you, and just watching it get made is entertaining on its own.
It starts with a mixture of the veggies and the batter. He also cooks the seafood on the griddle off to the side.
Then he adds the cooked seafood to the pancake, followed by the noodles, and finally the pork (which is still raw at this point).
He adds more batter to each pancake…
…then deftly flips them over.
Finally, he slathers on some mayo, adds a couple of other sauces, some seasoning, and it’s ready to eat.
It was incredibly delicious. The texture was perfect — previous okonomiyakis that I’ve tried have been a little bit doughy, but this featured an amazing balance of crispy exterior, fluffy interior, and chewy noodles, not to mention the perfectly cooked seafood. The combo of the creamy mayonnaise and the slightly sweet, slightly tangy sauces compliments it perfectly. It was ridiculous how much better it was than any okonomiyaki I’ve had before.