Osaka Soul Food: Okonomiyaki

The cool autumn weather has finally arrived here in Minoh. Last night the temperature dipped down into the 40s F (5-7 C) and so we wanted a hot meal. We rode our bikes to a restaurant in our neighborhood called Warai. They specialize in Okonomiyaki. The okonomi part of the word means “as you like it” and yaki means grilled or cooked. This style of food is associated with our Kansai region and a there is a slightly different version in Hiroshima. It is popular throughout the country. It is interesting that I have never seen it featured in Japanese restaurants outside of Japan.

The best thing about these types of restaurants is the hot stove that is seated in the table top and the little spatulas everyone is given. The kids love being able to do some “cooking” but one has to be careful with younger children that they do not burn themselves. The staff brings out various dishes half-cooked and lets patrons finish them on the hot stove. The stove also

The famous pancake of Osaka!

We ordered squid, corn and dumplings as the first course. The second course was the famous Osaka pancake. It is made of flour mixed with cabbage and yam, and either seafood or meat is added. It is topped with super thin fish flakes and you can add Japanese mayonnaise or the signature sauce of okonomiyaki, which is like  Worcestershire sauce. I love them and it is known as the soul food or signature dish of Osaka.

Delicious squid and corn

There are many restaurants that serve Okonomiyaki. Warai is a chain of family-style restaurants and there are over 20 in Osaka and Kobe. It is conveniently located for us and is kid friendly. I am looking forward to comparing the Hiroshima-style pancake.

Nadia and Oliver in front of the restaurant in Onohara.

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