Micchan Okonomiyaki is arguably Hiroshima's most famous okonomiyaki chain that originally began selling the signature dish in 1950 at this location, not far from the YMCA, called "Micchan Sō-hon-ten".
Originally, it was a very simple crêpe made with vegetables, the recipe has since developed into quite a culinary delight. You choose from special ingredients like oysters, cheese, mochi or seafood to go with the traditional layered crêpe, noodles, cabbage and bacon.
Micchan's own unique sauce and style of cooking okonomiyaki are well known: crispy noodles, cabbage that melts in the mouth and then the soft crêpe layer. You will be spoilt for choice for which condiment to add to your dish: Micchan's okonomi sauce, Japanese mayo, white pepper, spicy red crushed pepper and soy sauce. Unlike other okonomiyaki shops, regular teppanyaki items aren't on the menu — the art of making the perfect okonomiyaki is the sole focus and rightly so.
This Micchan claims to be the original and has 3 shops in Hiroshima under the same management (in Fukuya and in the Hiroshima Shinkansen station building). However, you will find other okonomiyaki shops around the city with the same "Micchan" name. Whilst they are not necessarily a part of the same famous chain, there are rumors they are all run by the same family.
Micchan's main special okonomiyaki is ¥1,200 and comes with noodles (soba or udon), ika-ten squid cracker, fresh squid, mochi rice cake and bacon (beside the staple okonomiyaki ingredients). Take out the mochi and ika-ten to get the main version for ¥1,000. Add extra meat for the deluxe ('DX') special for ¥1,500. Plates of the basic okonomiyaki cost around ¥700 and you can add your choice of special toppings for a few hundred yen: cheese, kimchi, green onions, mochi, squid, shrimp and more.
A featured topping is Hiroshima's famous oysters for ¥500. Also for ¥150 extra, you can get miso soup, rice and a side dish (cold tofu when I visited), or order an extra large portion of okonomiyaki (extra vegetables) for an additional ¥150. A kids' okonomiyaki set is ¥450.
Daytime dining is smoke-free. Everyone eats together on the main table or at the small tables by the windows – usually kept for larger groups. Service is fast and there is a friendly, welcoming atmosphere. They seem happy to have even first-time customers here.
The early dinner hours from 5pm-7pm are packed and people are eating fairly quickly before heading home, but from around 7:30pm, you may notice that diners will idle over their food and enjoy several drinks with friends or colleagues. The food and drinks on the menu are very reasonably priced and available all day.
Many drinks are available: soft drinks, non-alcoholic beer, bottles of Asahi or Kirin beer, chu-hai fruit flavored shochu, sake, ume-shu plum liquor, and the most popular are the jokki cold mugs of beer small, regular and super big "Mega Jokki" 800ml. There are also other cocktails available.
Seating for 30 people at a time along shared tables, no credit cards or parking discounts at this location. There is an English menu available upon request, reservations are accepted for later in the afternoon (after 2pm) or evening (after 8pm) when it is less busy. You can buy souvenir box sets of their famous recipe, signature sauce or other key ingredients from the shop on your way out.
The other Micchan locations in town have different policies concerning parking discounts or credit cards, but all three Micchan locations of this chain are open every day of the year.
*They use disposible waribashi, not use re-usable chopsticks, so don't forget to take your own and save a tree.*