Imagine having Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki grilled on a teppan hot plate, in a century old machiya or merchant’s house in Kyoto.
Are you thoroughly confused now? Okonomiyaki from Osaka, made Hiroshima style, and eaten in Kyoto. Such is the fusion of tastes and techniques in this sophisticated city.
Called Hiroshima Teppan Kanoyume, this place specialises in vegetarian pancakes as well as Hiroshima style yakisoba fried noodles and Hiroshima-yaki. They use seasonal ingredients and for the meat lover, there is Japanese Black Wagyu steak, grilled on a teppan or iron plate in front of you.
I first tried Hiroshima yaki 10 years ago, but I was a bread person then. I would rather have rosemary bread than ramen. Now I prefer the crunch and lightness of noodles and salads. I would even chew a slice of lemon to cleanse my appetite between courses.
This is where Hiroshima-yaki comes in. Layered with shredded cabbage, bean sprouts and pork slices, it is light, crunchy and unlike Osaka style Okonomiyaki, you can clearly taste every ingredient. It is topped with a thin omelette, in a similar way to another comfort food, omu-rice. The garnish of Shiso or Perilla leaves provides another layer of crunch and complexity of taste. The other Hiroshima yaki we ordered is exceptional with Worcestershire sauce based sauce competing for my attention along with the green Aonori dried seaweed topping. Having spent one of the best years of my life in Osaka, It takes a bit of courage to admit that you like Hiroshima-yaki. I am definitely a convert now.
Set in an elegant machiya, this chic eatery is a world away from the working man’s okonomiyaki shops in the gritty areas of Osaka. There is an indoor courtyard garden in the restaurant, with Japanese and Western style seating as well as a counter for 6 people which is recommended for a more engaging experience. For groups of 6 or more, private rooms are available.
On this pleasant Thursday night there were some office workers in their thirties having a quiet meal after work as well as some French tourists who obviously were relishing their great find.
What’s more, a delicious selection of French and Japanese wines is available. Like many restaurants in Kyoto, their lunch menu is even better value, so have a big lunch here and leave the evening for grazing type izakaya style meals.