The very first time I saw or tasted okonomiyaki was during college when I spent a summer working in Tsukuba, Japan as part of the MIT-Japan Program. I had befriended the friendly church bus driver who drove all the way out to various neighborhoods to pick up car-less people like me to attend a local Japanese church. After getting to know him through weekly (broken) Japanese conversations, he invited me to visit his family at his home. I met his wife and their beautiful baby, and they made okonomiyaki for me.
I still have very fond memories of my time in Japan. Although I have long lost touch with that friendly bus driver, I have not forgotten the warmth and hospitality this family showed to a young, clueless college student. I also never forgot the meal.
Years later, I finally went to the place that invented okonomiyaki, Osaka, Japan, and got to try some fantastic restaurant versions of this Japanese cross-between-a-pancake-and-an-omelet.
Now I can get my fix in Hong Kong anytime. A popular Japanese okonomiyaki chain, Dohtonbori Okonomiyaki, has six locations in and around Hong Kong. On a rare night when I actually decided to dine out solo, I stopped into the one at K11 in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Okonomiyaki Dohtonbori commits to knowing the source of all its vegetables. Recently the restaurant committed to sourcing 100% of its vegetables "domestically" (meaning from Japan). They even have documents that show which regions supply vegetables to which stores within Japan. I don't think it applies to overseas locations like the ones in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China, and the Philippines.
They have also committed to making all of their restaurants smoke-free as of June 1, 2018, which is kind of a big deal in Japan where LOTS of people smoke.
The concept at Okonomiyaki Dohtonburi is pretty simple. You choose which ingredients you want (they have a lot of different set combinations), and then they bring you the ingredients.
If you're a complete novice like me, don't worry! They have staff that can help a lot. Basically, they cooked the whole thing for me because I had no idea what I was doing.
See the short video I made of the process!
It's a fun, casual place to enjoy healthy, vegetable filled food that just hits the spot. I can see why there are so many locations all throughout Japan.
Next time I go, I want to go with a bigger group of people so I can try more flavors! One negative aspect of visiting a restaurant solo is the lack of variety. I enjoyed my okonomiyaki, but I also got tired of eating the same flavor for so many "slices" of my okonomiyaki "pie". It's fun to visit though! Great for a casual night out.
Shop 210, Level 2, K11, Tsim Sha Tsui
6 locations in Hong Kong
Tai Po Megal Mall
TShatin New Town Plaza
Kornhill Plaza, Taikoo
Langham Place, Mongkok
Tseun Wan Plaza
K11 (Tsim Sha Tsui)
This is the nineteenth post in the updated #50Postsin50Days – Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.