Japanese food is rich and varied. From the subtle flavours and delicate presentation of sushi and sashimi, through to teriyaki-grilled seafood and meat, and deep-fried delights such as tempura, whenever you order Japanese food, you know you're in for a treat. But have you ever tried okonomiyaki, the Japanese version of a pancake?
The name stems from the root word "okonomi" which means "as you like it" - appropriate because okonomiyaki come with all kinds of toppings. They're a little bit like the French crepe in that way: the base - batter and cabbage in okonomiyaki's case - is a vehicle for the toppings you want to eat the most.
Some people say that an okonomiyaki is also the Japanese food equivalent of a pizza for the same reasons. Many Japanese restaurants have iron griddles or "teppans" at each table so diners can cook their own okonomiyaki. But if you want yours prepared, there are plenty of restaurants which will cook up these tasty pancakes for you.
1. Thin Slice Pork Belly Okonomiyaki
The Thin Slice Pork Belly okonomiyaki is a great introduction to the dish. At Okan Okonomiyaki, it's one of many different okonomiyaki choices. This traditional savoury pancake is filled with pork belly slices and topped with seaweed flakes and Japanese mayo. The dish is finished with a helping of brown sauce. This is comforting Japanese food at its best!
2. Izakaya Okonomiyaki
Perhaps you like the idea of okonomiyaki but had your eyes set on ramen or a rice dish for your main meal. No problem if you choose from the Izakaya menu at the Happy Samurai in Canterbury: Japanese izakaya dishes have been likened to Spanish tapas, in that you order a number of small dishes to share. You could order okonomiyaki on its own or as part of the Izakaya platter which includes other dishes such as yakitori, dumplings and deep-fried tofu. A great choice if you want to have a little bit of everything, including okonomiyaki!
At the Bonsai Bar in Edinburgh, the Okonomiyaki again features on the menu in a smaller-than-a-main size. The traditional pancake is topped with different veggies, making it a great choice for any vegetarian diners. Eat it on its own or with a couple of other tempting dishes from the menu, such as Aubergine Katsu and Veggie Tempura. And if you're still hungry, you could place a follow up order for some of their delicious sushi. Japanese food at its best!
4. Kingprawn Okonomiyaki
At Teppanyaki Chinatown, the okonomiyaki are a meal on their own. There are three different ones to choose from, each with the base of eggs, cabbage, onions, carrots and broccoli. Our favourite is the King Prawn okonomiyaki which comes with bonito flakes, mayo and yakiniku as well as the prawns on the top. Big enough to see you through to your next mealtime, this is a tasty and satisfying okonomiyaki!
Whether you want a mini-okonomiyaki side or you prefer it as the main event, take your pick from the delicious okonomiyaki available on Deliveroo.