Talking about okonomiyaki, most people only know the ones from Kansai region of Japan, a mixture of flour, vegetables and meat mixed altogether and cooked on griddles resembling pancakes. Little that people know that the origin of this particular dish is actually from Hiroshima, made with totally different method. If you’re interested in reading the history of okonomiyaki, read HERE.
In Bangkok, where there are *too* many authentic Japanese restaurants nowadays, it’s not difficult to find a good Hiroshima Okonomiyaki restaurant. We visited this popular place called Hiroshima Pizza, which already has 2 outlets in Bangkok alone, and seems to be included in everyone’s lists for the search of Hiroshima okonomiyaki.
We went to their outlet in Sukhumvit 49 because it’s closer to Mr. K’s house, and like some other Japanese restaurants in Bangkok, they also have their own parking lot just across the restaurant. This outlet opens everyday except Mondays, from 4PM to midnight. The place is not big but we can choose to sit by the counter or get a table. Since there were just two of us, we chose to sit by the counter so we could enjoy the making process of okonomiyaki, it was fun!
The making process of Hiroshima okonomiyaki is time-consuming, require full attention and skill with the spatulas, but the result is worth all the wait. I’ll just put all the photos so you can see how complicated this is compared to Kansai okonomiyaki!
First step is to make a round-shaped crepe-alike skin from flour mixture.
Hiroshima okonomiyaki usually uses noodle (soba or udon) as one of the ingredients (these okonomiyaki are called “modanyaki”), and they are cooked immediately after the flour crepe is started. The cooking process of these noodles takes quite long time and they have to keep an eye so the noodle won’t get burned.
The cabbage is probably the main ingredient of any style of okonomiyaki, but I think this plays a very important role in determining how good or bad an okonomiyaki is. Cabbage is not something that we enjoy eating, but if the cabbage is cooked nicely, it feels like there is no cabbage at all and the okonomiyaki will be so much nicer. I am not sure if I make any sense with my sentence but I think you get what I mean.
We can choose whatever topping we want for our order, and here they even use the tenkasu (bits of crunches made from deep-fried flour batter) just like in Japan.
When it’s done, okonomiyaki sauce will be brushed generously on top, followed by aonori and katsuobushi. As for the mayonnaise and other sauces, they are prepared on our tables and we can use them according to our likings.
Nikutama Udon Okonomiyaki THB 185
We opted for the basic one as we wanted to try the original taste without additional special ingredients. Although the basic one commonly uses soba for the noodle, I was craving for udon so I chose it instead. The size was average, perfect for single person serving. However, we shared this for two, because Hiroshima okonomiyaki can be very filling and we wanted to try other dishes as well.
Compared to the okonomiyaki in Hiroshima, Japan, this was considered quite “thin”. Not that I am complaining, though. Since my benchmark for this kind of okonomiyaki is the one made by Mr. K, I must admit that the standard is pretty high. This okonomiyaki is actually very delicious, but the cabbage was not as soft as what Mr. K cooks. The problem is that he gained his skill after watching an elderly woman in Miyajima island cooking in her shop, resulting in a very soft cabbage and making the okonomiyaki very easy to eat. In term of sauce, they use the common Otafuku okonomiyaki sauce which is very tasty and strong.
Oh yes, in this shop, they provide you these “mini” spatulas which you can use for eating. It’s not really “mini” so I don’t think it’s wise to put these into your mouth, especially ladies. Anyway, if you come here, you have to try eating this way, at least just for fun! XD
Natto Yaki THB 159
As a total convert now, I am in the midst of catching up with whatever natto (Japanese fermented soybean) and upon seeing this in the menu, I just had to order it. The natto yaki is basically natto served in egg omelette, bacon, cabbage, and spring onions.
The natto yaki was the winner that night because it was just SO GOOD!! The natto was fresh and slightly cooked by the hot griddle giving a smokey aroma and flavor to it. The omelette was fragrant, soft and fragile, but very tasty (can you imagine egg and bacon made into this layer of skin?). The spring onions were generously given inside giving a crunchy texture and familiar aroma into the whole thing.
Hamburg THB 190
Something you definitely can’t miss! This hamburg is a combination of ground pork and beef patty, made with special Japanese moms’ way. It might not look pretty but the taste was priceless. The meat was so tender and warm, just like a homemade hamburg, and the sauce was nothing but perfection.
Kakigori THB 49
For the dessert, they don’t have many options but shaved ice or kakigori will be just fine for us. You can choose small (THB 49) or large (THB 89), flavors are strawberry or green tea, and you can add topping like red beans (THB 45) or condensed milk (free).
We love how the green tea syrup was so totally infused into the ice, it’s like the ice was mixed with the syrup or something. You know, sometimes if we buy this kind of shaved ice, usually the syrup is just poured on the outer layer of the ice so when we spoon the inner part, the ice will be tasteless because the syrup doesn’t go through. This one was still green until the very bottom and it was totally a sweet treat!
Overall, we really had so much fun watching the cooking “show” and eating all the great dishes there. All the above costed us just THB 624 (including taxes) for 2 person, which is not bad for an authentic Hiroshima okonomiyaki experience in Bangkok! Hopefully we can go back and have more in the future.
Currency Rate: THB 1 = +/- IDR 390 = +/- USD 0.028
*The Food Escape team are not paid whatsoever for writing this post.
** This review is written based on our visit on 15 December 2015.
12/14 Soi Prompuk Sukhumvit 49/6
Ph. +66 2 712 7112
BTS Thong Lor or Phrom Pong
Tue-Sun 4PM – 12AM
Closed on Mondays