Last night my family in Hiroshima took us to a Hiroshima style okonomiyaki restaurant near their house. When I say near, I mean really near, like a 2 minute drive. This may not sound unusual to hear unless you realize how deep into the boonies their house is from the "city". It's over an hour drive just to get near the city. The drive back and forth passes beautiful rice fields and other local agriculture. The roads in and out are barely wide enough to fit one sub compact car at a time. In fact one morning driving in to town while we yielded to a stop to let oncoming sub compact car (actually k-car smaller than sub) pass, his (passing driver) car slammed into our cars side view mirror and he continued driving along on his merry way as if it's a casual experience. Hehe.
Anyway, the restaurant is called Okonomi House Fukurou (お好みハウスふくろう). Okonimi is a Japanese dish that is popular in the Kansai areas around Osaka. There you will find "traditional" okonomiyaki, resembling a pancake type of food texture filled with hearty ingredients and topped with sauce. In Hiroshima, okonomiyaki is traditionally prepared differently. It's more a yakisoba (Japanese fried noodles) type of dish than the pancake dish. Many rivalries are debated about which is better. As far as I'm concerned, I prefer Hiroshima's style. Not just because it is where my family is from, but I don't care for the gooey pancake type.
This restaurant, as its name suggests, resembles visiting someone's home for dinner. There are about 5 tables with teppan (Japanese grill) in them. What I liked about this restaurant is that the actual cooking of the okonomiyaki is done by the chef at a big main teppan. After it is done it is brought over and set on your table's hot teppan. You eat the okonomiyaki hot off the teppan. :) If you go to some other places in the city, your okonomiyaki is cooked on the teppan right in front of your face. While this may be an interesting experience for most people, the experience also comes with excessive heat and leaving smelling like food and cooking oils. I can do without smelling like I just got off work at a restaurant. After all, I hated smelling like that everyday after finishing work many years ago.
If you're in Hiroshima, give Okonomi House Fukurou a call and reserve your table. Their phone number and address is in the photo of their menu.
PS benefit of an hour+ drive into the city each morning is a lot of time to write my post and tweet! ;)
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