Okonomiyaki so good, we had to go twice

No visit to Osaka is complete without having okonomiyaki, one of the city’s signature dishes. It is greasy, crunchy, tasty and made right in front of you on a sizzling hot plate. There are carbs, veggies and meat in one messy package, making it a complete and healthy meal.

To beat the notoriously long queues, we arrived at Mizuno in Dotonbori for an early dinner on our first day in Osaka. Thankfully, there was no crowd and we were seated immediately at the tiny first floor counter.

On the wall was a photo collage of the different choices available, though it was hard to identify what each of them contained, since everything was a mish-mash of all sorts of ingredients.

Nearby was a poster advertising (in four languages) Coca Cola Plus that contains zero sugar and has the magical properties of suppressing fat absorption and moderating blood fat elevation. Yes please!

An English menu was available and in addition to the cold anti-fat beverage, we ordered two appetisers and one okonomiyaki with pork and scallop to share. The salad and tofu made us feel less guilty about the main course.

The live entertainment portion of the meal started with pork belly and whole scallops being plonked down on the teppan to sizzle and acquire a nice brown crust. A mixture of cabbage, eggs and yamaimo (山芋), the special ingredient used in Mizuno, was beaten in a metal bowl and drenched over the pork and scallops.

The whole mess is allowed to set for a while, and then flipped over to cook evenly. When it’s done, the brown okonomiyaki sauce is mopped on generously, followed by big squirts of mayonnaise to complete the cholesterol pancake. It was a big portion and more than enough for the two of us.

The yamaimo makes a big difference to the taste and texture when compared with normal okonomiyakis served elsewhere. It makes it taste lighter and, dare I say it?, more healthy. So if you want to indulge and feel less guilty, you know where to go.

We left Mizuno feeling very satisfied but smelling like smoked meat. I could also feel the Coca Cola Plus surrounding the food in my stomach, isolating all the fat molecules and coating them with a layer of neutralising chemicals.

Science. Isn’t it amazing?

Even though we had many nice meals throughout our eleven days in Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto, we still remembered the okonomiyaki we had at Mizuno and ended up having lunch there again on our last day.

This time, we arrived just before the peak lunch hour, but still had to wait as the queue was processed. Turnover was quick though, so we didn’t have to wait for too long. The first floor counter was completely full, so we were ushered to booth seats on the second floor.

In addition to the pork and scallop okonomiyaki that we ate last time, we also ordered the modanyaki which contained yakisoba and seafood. And of course, we had to have Coca Cola Plus again, for, you know, health reasons.

There were teppans set up on the second floor as well, so the food was freshly cooked in front of us. The okonomiyaki didn’t look as brown as before, and the modanyaki was dusted with green aonori. Both were delicious, as expected.

It was good that the hotel gave us a late checkout that day, and we could shower and change before heading to the airport for our overnight flight back home. Because even though okonomiyaki smells nice, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Eleven days in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto

The world has changed forever due to that-which-must-not-be-named and international travel is on an indefinite pause. There are many countries we want to visit again and Japan is definitely among the top choices.

In the meantime, as we remain grounded in Singapore, we can look back and remember the wonderful time we had in our eleven days in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto during the autumn of 2018, two years and a lifetime ago.

Paperback: www.amazon.com/dp/B08DC84GBD
eBook: www.amazon.com/dp/B08DD8P8W3

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