The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 30 November 2006

Okonomiyaki @ Kiji Honten (Osaka)

Did I mention how much we love Osaka? We had the opportunity to spend the evening there once again during our Kyoto trip a couple of weeks ago. As mentioned previously, Osaka is the place to have okonomiyaki (a Japanese-style pancake) On our first trip to Osaka, we searched in vain for this okonomiyaki place that was highly recommended by the Lonely Planet Guide. Well, actually, we did find it the first time round, but being Sunday it was closed (the Guide did mention that the place was open Mon-Sat but we were determined to find it since we were in Osaka for only one day).

Okonomiyaki dinner

Kiji is located in a food arcade under the railtracks of the Umeda line near the Umeda Osaka train station. In this arcade, there are many eating bars, cafes and restaurants so it was a bit tricky finding it (no English signs - only hiragana). It is a pretty small place, and it was full when we walked in. We waited only for maybe 5 or 10 minutes before we were invited to seat by the teppan. It's a very informal place, and the atmosphere is very much like a bar which probably contributed a lot to the fun we had. We were seated between two very friendly Japanese guys who gave good recommendations on what to try. One of them was on very friendly terms with the cook and told the cook to let Rob try his hand at flipping over an okonomiyaki.

Modanyaki came with a high recommendation, as well as the mixed okonomiyaki. Modanyaki ('modern') is a mixture of yakisoba and okonomiyaki. And it was delicious! Even more so than the mixed okonomiyaki.


The mixed okonomiyaki included pork and various seafood and although it was very nice, the tastiness was overshadowed by the modanyaki. Don't get me wrong though - I thought it was still heaps better than the ones we had in Kanazawa and Suzu.


And of course, we thoroughly enjoyed the company we had during dinner. And the total price of a delicious dinner? 1650 yen (between AU$17 to $18).


We headed across the street to Yodobashi Umeda, which is this huge multistorey-ed electronics department store selling all sorts of electronic goods (we went to their branch store in Tokyo too). Anyway, on the 11th floor, there is this area called 'Sweets Museum', and we settled on a desserts cafe called Konzert (German?). We've never had parfait before, and since it seems to be quite the craze amongst the Japanese people, we decided to give it a try. Apparently, when Japanese call a dessert 'parfait', they're actually referring to a sundae. Since we've never had 'authentic' parfait before, we can't say whether or not what we had qualifies as a real parfait. So what did this parfait have? Vanilla and chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, cornflakes (?!), various sponge cakes and fruits. Oh and that long spirally thing which tasted like butter biscuits. I thought this was pretty good, and could be improved if they'd used wafers or nuts instead of cornflakes to give the crunchiness. But then it would cost them more, wouldn't it? A dessert like this doesn't come cheap - about 850 yen (~AU$9 to $10).


Rob diggin' into it:

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