EAT: Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki (JAX, Dec 2015)

Visiting Hiroshima is not considered complete without experiencing the taste of its unique okonomiyaki first and foremost. Here is an account on where to find the best in the city.

Okonomiyaki or often associated as Japanese pancake is a big thing in Hiroshima. The two competing styles of okonomiyaki are between Osaka and this city in particular. The former boasts its reputation as the origin city of okonomiyaki but arguably, Hiroshima’s style actually attracts a lot of fans for its unique cooking method. To be fair, many areas in Japan also have their own signature style to this dish.

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The word “big” was not an understatement at all and that can be seen since the moment I arrived at the city’s main station during lunchtime. In a shopping mall nearby, a collection of eateries are lining up side-by-side and the queuing lines were pale in comparison with the okonomiyaki shops.

However, that’s not all, as I actually discovered that there are at least two buildings in the city dedicated solely as local food havens and other forms of entertainment. The most famous one, which is quite apparent with the name, is the Okonomi-mura. However, chance brought me instead to visit the Hiroshima Full Focus Building to sample the city’s best for dinner.

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Head up to the sixth floor and expect yourself lost in a maze full of okonomiyaki shops. Some shops persuaded me to visit theirs courteously, but my choice came down randomly to this shop that relies on the one man show skills from its only cook.

From preparing the drinks, taking orders, cooking the okonomiyaki, and down to the desserts; this man handled everything swiftly and without fail. Even as each customer has his or her preferences for the orders, he took the challenge with ease and cooked accordingly. One instance, I would like my okonomiyaki topped with seafood as it actually described the authenticity of Hiroshima-style. On the other hand, he took over the order for the torched cheese okonomiyaki. It’s a spectacle, indeed.

Okonomiyaki 1

Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is all about stacking the ingredients. Unlike the Kansai-style that mixes every ingredient while cooking it, the Hiroshima-style firstly uses a lot of cabbage as the foundation before piling it with the dough and other ingredients such as noodles, tempura, sliced pork belly, bean sprouts and scallions.

Cooking okonomiyaki here feels like a standardized step-by-step process. Before finishing, the cook mixed the okonomiyaki with fried egg and then lastly, topping it with generous smearing of Otafuku’s Worcestershire sauce – a savory and sweet sauce which is also a fundamental part of the dish.

Finally, my seafood okonomiyaki came around and it was such a pleasure enjoying it. Despite how it looks, it’s a full course meal by itself. The generous amount of nutrition coming from carbs, vegetables and proteins on it makes okonomiyaki a fulfilling treat.

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HIROSHIMA-STYLE OKONOMIYAKI
Not halal-certified (serves pork and alcohol)
Some dishes are suitable for vegetarians

Address:
Hiroshima Full Focus Building
10-1 Matsubara-cho, Minami-ku, Hiroshima – Japan

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Original link: http://jax.co.id/okonomiyaki/

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