Making Okonomiyaki in Taito

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There’s so much food to eat in Japan and with just a few weeks in Japan, I had to pick the most convenient and best places to eat. There’s an awesome Seiko Museum in Sumida and a Okonomiyaki restaurant located a subway ride away, called Sometaro in Taito which became my lunch spot.

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Okonomiyaki is a savory pancake, made with eggs, containing pretty much any and all ingredients. They’re most recognizable for their dark sauce on top along with a heavy hand of mayo (Usually in some patterned design). I’ve typically had these at Yakitori restaurants, but they’re a cuisine all itself and mainly associated with the Kansai or the Hiroshima areas, but can be found everywhere. A majority of Okonomiyaki dishes I’ve had were of the vegetable and seafood variety.

At Sometaro, a big draw is the ability to cook your own Okonomiyaki, they give you the ingredients and just like Yakiniku or Shabu Shabu, you make it yourself. Sounds good right? I thought it’d be good, but no. The cooking process is easy enough, mix, fry, flip, flip again, eat, but it didn’t work.

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My experience could have went smoother, but it consisted of 2 people backseat driving or “helping me” and doing their own thing. The cooking started with a kid probably 14 who was trying to get the grill hot, once it got hot he brought over the mixture. I started to mix it and he asked if he could do it. Fine, do it bro.

After being quite messy and finally with a a hot grill he threw it on. 5-6 minutes later and 2 trips back, he flipped it. The another guy came as my first waiter changed into his school uniform and took off. The new guy, we’ll call him Bob was older and was moving kegs around while flipping my food. Once both sides were lightly cooked, Bob cut it up, lengthwise then width. Then Bob checked the insides of each piece, 10 in total. Seriously? First time at the grill? I asked what was going on, and he gave me the “hold up” motion. Two moved kegs later and Bob is back, flipped it once more, and told me to eat. He did not turn off the grill, which I didn’t notice so after a few minutes, the bottom starting to burn. With the excess of flipping and cutting before done, the food came out very dense. It was tasty, but that was just a totally fucked up situation.

Patrons really love this shit, sitting over the grill, flipping food, and drinking. It’s an experience, one that was had by more locals then tourists. I’d never do it again or take over the cooking.

Source: Asakusa Okonomiyaki Sometaro

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