Toradyu Okonomiyaki Restaurant (Tokyo 2016): Grill It Yourself
One of the types of food that we were looking forward to trying while we visited Japan this year was okonomiyaki. These Japanese-style savory pancakes are grilled up with various ingredients and kind of resembles an omelette or pizza.
While we were in the Kabukicho district (the red light district in Shinjuku), we came across a large restaurant sign which advertised okonomiyaki as well as offering all-you-can-eat for ¥2700. Since we weren’t too hungry, we decided to just get the a la carte menu and walked up the steep staircase to the second floor restaurant.
Our main problem here was that they didn’t speak English but one of the waitresses did speak some Chinese. They did have some restrictions… each diner must order at least one drink and must place an order for an entrée.
This restaurant is a grill-it-yourself establishment with a large teppan grill in the middle of the table. There were instructions for how to make the okonomiyaki but our friendly server showed us how to do the first one.
Basically, the ingredients for each okonomiyaki arrives in a large bowl and you need to mix up all of the items with the batter in the bowl to form a coarse paste-like substance. The difficult part was trying to break up the cabbage with the metal spoon… I got a pretty good workout doing this.
We wound up ordering a Beef (¥1000), Octopus (¥950), Shrimp (¥950), and Rice Cake (¥950) okonomiyaki.
For some proteins, such as the beef, you grill that separately while you finish mixing your ingredients.
For my shrimp, you just mix it with the rest of the ingredients… making sure to chop things up into smaller chunks.
Then you grill everything up into large round patties until it crisps up into a golden hue (about 5 minutes). Then you flip it over and finish grilling it.
At each table, they have bonito flakes as well as mayonnaise and okonomiyaki sauce that you can finish off your creation with.
These are really good when freshly cooked and each patron gets a small spatula that they can use to scrape the okonomiyaki off the grill.
Due to how much cabbage they use, these okonomiyaki portions were very filling and we could have easily just eaten three instead of four. We saw some other patrons grilling up some yakisoba on the teppan grill and it looked very good… if I had to do this over, I’d probably want to mix things up and order some okonomiyaki and some noodles.
1-17-13 Kabukichō, Pick Peck Bldg. 2F
Shinjuku-ku, Tōkyō-to 160-0021
3 min walk from Shinjuku Station