You take the mini spatula and slowly slide a little bit over the hot plate till it’s brown and slightly crunchy. You have to do it a little at a time and very very slowly if you want to get the desired results – slightly burnt and crunchy baby food. The whole experience is pretty damn mendoksai troublesome. When I take my first bite, I like it. The flavours are fairly mild so we douse it with chilli flakes, seaweed and fish flakes. It takes us close to an hour to get through the first one.
I ordered the mixed set that came with two seasonings: salt and miso. I personally preferred the miso. Whilst the dish didn’t offend my tastebuds, I failed to see what the big deal was. The texture of the meat was chewy and tough-ish. Some pieces were delicious, but a lot of the pieces were simply not to my liking. I wouldn’t call it much to look at either…. Having said that, I loved the pickles and the soup. The pickles were packed with flavour. And the tail meat in the soup was incredibly tender.
When I found out that I was coming back to the Kansai area for a business trip, I crinkled and raised my eyebrows at the same time. It wasn’t on my plans. But when life is ready to bring you full circle, it will do it with a big smile on its face.
I got a seat at the counter and boy was I tickled by the sight of all those okonomiyaki neatly assembled. One chef was cutting the cabbage. Another was preparing the okonomiyaki. Another was making the negiyaki: made with scallions instead of cabbage. And another was expertly tossing noodles to make yakisoba. If you love cooking like I do – open kitchens like this one are a HUGE treat.
I spent the past three days in Nagano on a business trip. A popular destination for school trips, camping and skiing – Nagano was exactly what I needed for a couple of days. I slept well, ate well and overdosed on nature. Although I was working, I finally managed to get a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of daily life in Tokyo.
“We use yuzu in baths on the winter solstice,” she says. “We also make tea, dressings and yuzukosho with it. Yuzu also has a little brother. Its name is Kabosu: commonly grown in the Usuki and Taketa areas in Oita. Unlike yuzu, kabosu is less well-known.”
The cuisine in Japan varies from region to region. And I must admit – Okinawan cuisine is my personal favourite. Due to a long history of trade, Okinawan cuisine has strong Chinese and Southeast Asian influences. Given my own cultural background, every bite felt a little like home.