Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More okonomiyaki

It has been a whole day since reader El alerted me to the fact that you can get okonomiyaki from restaurant Edamame, which is close to where I work. Such is my love for okonomiyaki, that ever since reading her comment yesterday I have been itching to try it. I resisted the temptation to go to Edamame for dinner last night (only because I had a food blog date with Ally from Eat Drink Brisbane) and ran up to Edamame at lunchtime today.

I went in already knowing that I was going to order okonomiyaki, so didn't pay close attention to the other menu. I was presented with a number of options including-
okonmiyaki ($ 8.00)
with seafood (+$7)
NZ Mussels (+about $5.5)
Tempura Prawns (+$5??)
Grilled Chicken( +$4.80)

There were a few cheaper options but these were the only ones I considered (sorry!! weekday lunchtime = in a rush.) I decided that grilled chicken okonomiyaki was the way to go and headed to the counter to order. I waited... and waited.... and waited whilst a couple of the staff out the back periodically looked at me and then went promptly back to work. I was standing there for so long like a bumbling idiot, causing me to wonder whether it was table service or exactly what the protocol was in this odd little Japanese eatery.

Finally another girl appeared from out the back to take my order, only after walking straight past me to clear some other diners plates first.

I ordered and paid my $12.80 and then sat down to eat. Whilst my order was being prepared, I couldn't help but why the restaurant counter was so crowded with drink choices etc etc. It kind of added an extra cramped feeling to the already small restaurant.

My meal arrived pretty quickly, (there were only 2 other tables of diners) and I was shocked to

discover something that looked very little like the okonomiyaki I love so much and more like the (what i thought at the time) modanyaki i'm not so fond of.

The dish was layered with noodles on the bottom, chopped cabbage, a thin pancake, grilled chicken with sauce and japanese mayo with a little bit of seaweed on top. At first look- very intrigued, at first bite, very disappointed. The amount of chicken was definately not worth an extra $4.80. It was such a small amount I would expect it to be included in with the $8 flat rate for the pancake.

My dreams of a thick luscious pancake filled with crunchy cabbage and chicken were quickly dashed. The pancake was not entirely unpleasant, but very thin and half was burnt so that made me very depressed. The tiny amount of chicken tasted good, it was obviously marinated and was pretty tender- but did i mention the pityful serving??? Noodles took up most of the plate, and whilst they were fine, they were nothing special. The presentation of the pancake was more overcrowded and busy more than anything else. The sauce was as yummy as usual, so there was a good element to the dish.

I later discovered that Hiroshima style okonomiyaki is layered- usually with noodles and due to my ignorance I had previously believed that all pancakes were Osaka styled (containing all the ingredients.) I know now Osaka styled okonomiyaki is my fave (Japanese readers- can you help me out?? Am i correct on this one) Obviously I can't hold this against the restaurant but what I can hold against the restaurant is their poor service, overpriced additions and lacklustre pancake. The Ville area where Edamame is siuated caters to a student population, so I believe better value should be demanded. Even at a regular cafe I would be disappointed to pay $12.80 for a plate mostly made of noodles with a thin pancake and a small amount of chicken.

Another bad review?? Why do I always have to play the bad guy? Am I a little harsh? Have you had good experiences at Edamame? Do you prefer one style of okonomiyaki? Let me know.

Just to let you know.. on the way back from lunch I saw another sign advertising a new Japanese eatery so I am already optimistic about the outcome... Lunch Tomorrow perhaps?

'The Ville"
224 Hawken Drive
St Lucia QLD 4072
(07) 3876 0060

5 fabulous comments:

f44444444f said...

That is sad and disappointing to hear. I haven't had the kind of okonomiyaki you are talking about but I'm going to Japan in 8 weeks and will be enjoying all types. However..

In the city in the myer centre @ the bus station level near the Boost there is a japanese place (i think it's next to the krispy kreme) they do Okonomiyaki there. It's like $10 for the vegetarian option and it is HUGE enough for two peole for sure. It comes with noodles onto so I'm not sure it's the exact type you are looking for - but might be worth a try?

Gastronomy Gal said...

Thanks for that tip! Worth a try!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ahh yes the two are quite different. I prefer the Osaka style version too-mainly because that was what we mostly had when I lived there and that's the kind they serve a lot here in Sydney :)

Rabbit Sim said...

I tried Edamame's okonomiyaki once too. I too was disappointed when it came (tiny portion and 2 shrivel pieces of grilled chicken) and more so when I sank my teeth into it.
I much preferred Osaka style too which is pancake like and filled to the brim with fillings.

Bridget said...

I will I could find okonomiyaki at a restaurant here in the US! Most people haven't heard of it and I have never seen it on a menu at a Japanese restaurant (yet)

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