Okay class, who remembers what Okonomiyaki is?…anyone? We crossed paths with the dish at (now unfortunately closed) Chizikaya. That’s right, it’s that super savory and yummy Japanese pancake. Our day was quite literally made when on a random trip to our favorite Japanese market Mitsuwa (100 E. Algonquin Rd.) that we stumbled upon a food stand just inside selling one item – exactly.
There was a line about twelve deep, but those in the know are aware how absolutely delicious this delicacy can prove to be. For those that weren’t aware of what was in this circle of edible heaven, a fun and very much anime styled poster laid out the makings of the dish.
This version was made with egg, green onions, cabbage, red ginger and finally topped with long strips of bacon and bonito flakes. They had a great system, shall I say assembly line, putting the large portions of Okonomiyaki together. The smell filled the front of the store as there were up to eight on the griddle at a time.
Topped with both a creamy aioli sauce as well as a sweet tangy brown glaze, the smoky pork with fresh onion and zesty ginger finished with crispy flakes…I mean, really – who could ask for anything more? Chizikaya made theirs with seafood which did work well, but I like the thicker one here that made it both a better value and also furthered the textural experience.
Just before we were about to leave the hot food stand we noticed some sea urchin (uni) croquettas. They certainly couldn’t be a bad buy at a mere two fifty. A light panko breading hugged a creamy filling that was extremely well flavored with fresh uni. They were excellent and I had never seen anything like that before. Highly recommended.
If you don’t go to Mitsuwa for the groceries, you should at least swing by on a Saturday to check out one of the street food exhibitions they seem to hold weekly. If you find nothing there you can walk a mere fifty feet to their food court for anything from a bowl of really really excellent ramen or even a Gabuto Burger…sorry, can’t tell ya.
I’m hungry. Let’s eat!