It’s no secret that we love Japanese food like a LOT. So when we had the opportunity to eat okonomiyaki again, we didn’t let it pass.
I initially had no idea what kind of restaurant Dohtonbori was other than the fact that it was a Japanese restaurant. And when I learned that the restaurant highlights okonomiyaki, it got me really excited. This is because besides sushi, sashimi and ramen, okonomiyaki is also part of our favorite Japanese dishes.
Dohtonbori’s exterior is similar with the typical food place you may see in Japan. This is evident with the hanging banners and the food display that showcases how the dishes might look like in person.
The same can be said in the interior. We chose to eat in their traditional Japanese styled room. It has tatami mats as flooring, low tables and only pillows as chairs. Yes, you end up sitting on the floor. The good thing about their setup though is that no one is allowed to bring their shoes inside. Another is that they have holes in the floor under the table for customers. This is to let their legs dangle in case they already feel numb from sitting cross legged and, ultimately, for a more comfortable sitting experience.
What really caught my eye is that there were iron griddles in the middle of the tables which I certainly did not expect. Apparently, we get to grill the dishes that we order especially the okonomiyaki.
Since all our ordered food were to be cooked in front, the servers only gave us the ingredients of it.
Me-An ordered FOUR CHEESE OKONOMIYAKI, PhP 290 (or USD 6.27) as expected of a cheese lover.
By the way, for those who still has no idea what okonomiyaki is, it is translated directly as “what you like” (okonomi), and “grilled” or “cooked” (yaki). Hence, the ingredients put for cooking is based on one’s preference; but it’s usually prepared with pancake-like batter and shredded cabbage, and topped with Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi (flakes shaved from a dried, smoked bonito fish) and aonori (dried, finely chopped seaweed). All these makes okonomiyaki a Japanese savory pancake.
For the okonomiyaki to be cooked, a customer has two options:
- Seek assistance from the server in having it cooked.
- Cook it themselves by following the instruction card placed in each table.
If a customer decides to cook one’s own okonomiyaki, he/she has nothing to worry about. The prepared ingredients were selected well and carefully measured so there is quality and uniformity in taste.
6 Steps in Cooking Your Own Okonomiyaki
1. POUR OIL IN THE TEPPAN GRILL.
This ensures that the okonomiyaki does not stick.
2. MIX ALL THE INGREDIENTS WELL.
Ensure that it’s evenly distributed by mixing it for at least 10 times from outside to inside.
3. POUR MIXTURE IN THE TEPPAN GRILL INTO A PANCAKE SHAPE.
Do not flap or press the okonomiyaki after pouring it evenly.
4. COOK FOR 15 MIN. FLIPPING IT ALTERNATIVELY EVERY 5 MIN.
When flipping, make sure to use the 2 turners meeting at the center so your okonomiyaki doesn’t break. Make a perfect circle by tucking in the sides.
5. COVER WITH OKONOMIYAKI SAUCE.
6. ADD SAUCES, TOPPINGS AND SPICES AS DESIRED.
For those with seafood allergy, the offered Ao Nori and Bonito Powder are not advised for you.
This was the meal of Me-An. Her okonomiyaki’s appearance at least looks somewhat close to how it should look.
According to Me-An, she loved her okonomiyaki except for the fact that bonito powder was supplied instead of the supposed bonito flakes. Meanwhile, when I tried it, there was honestly nothing special in the food that made me go “mmmmmm.” Maybe because Me-An wasn’t able to cook it perfectly that’s why it tasted like that or because of the choice of ingredients.
This was the order of Me-An’s mom, 5 SEAFOOD OKONOMIYAKI, PhP 360 (or USD 7.78). We didn’t get to try this so we have nothing to say other than the five seafood ingredients it has which are squid, mentaiko (marinated roe of pollock and cod), octopus, shrimps and scallops.
Finally, without any hesitation, I ordered was their SEAFOOD SHIO MONJA, PhP 299 (or USD 6.47). I really got interested on this one mainly because I have never heard of monjayaki before.
It has almost the same ingredients with an okonomiyaki except for the base which was a thick sauce. I later on learned that the liquid was made with a combination of komugiko (wheat flour) and dashi (fish broth).
Since there was no instruction card in cooking it and I might end up ruining the food, I sought the assistance of a server.
With the monja on the teppan grill, the server then told me to chop the ingredients into small pieces using the two big spatulas. It reminded me of teppanyaki chefs who cook rapidly so I tried imitating them. It was really fun because I’m allowed to play with food.
The end product of the monjayaki is not exactly aesthetically pleasing. The serving turned out to be small also.
It is important to note that monjayaki is best eaten straight of the teppan grill. With a moji-bera (small spatula) provided, food is scraped along with the remaining parts stuck on the pan. It tastes like the okonomiyaki but, instead of being firm, it’s sticky.
We weren’t able to get our actual expense as it was Me-An’s mom who treated us to this restaurant. We’ll try to update this post on our return.
Pardon our eye bags on the photo below. Blogging events plus work had been keeping us up these days.
Anyway, Dohtonbori is a really good place to eat at if you’re craving for Okonomiyaki, or you just want to try out other yummy Japanese dishes other than ramen or sushi.
If you want to get the most out of your food though, you might want the servers to cook the food for you so it will be prepared the way it’s meant to be. It might be a little expensive for some. However, it may also be reasonable for some because of the ambiance as well as the experience. The key thing here is to experience it with your loved ones and particularly choose okonomiyaki to get your money’s worth.
What do you think of cooking your own okonomiyaki?
And do you think monjayaki is worth a try?
We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.
Upper Ground Floor, Main Building, SM City North Edsa, Quezon City, Philippines.
Operating Hours: 10AM to 9PM (Mon.-Thurs., Sun.) and 10AM to 10PM (Fri. to Sat.)