Wandering around Shimokitazawa one day, my friends and I were trying to find a decent place to eat before I got on the Shinkansen to head out to the Kansai area. Having eaten our way around Tokyo all week we kind of already know which restaurants to avoid. We passed restaurant after restaurant with windows full of fake food sets then we finally found this great sliding door with simple pictures posted outside of okonomiyaki. Several japanese walked in and I peeked my head in. This place looked steamy, dark and authentic. They clearly were not catering to tourists or kids looking for a value set meal. We sat down next to a guy already digging into his order. You can choose the type of noodles (soba or udon) and your toppings. We ordered an udon one topped with grilled shrimp and octopus and scallops, a soba version with mocha and cheese and a classic hiroshima vegetable one with soba. I usually don't like okonomiyaki but Hiroki specializes in Hiroshima style okonomiyaki... which is a kind of deconstructed version of okonomiyaki. Typical okonomiyaki has a bunch of ingredients cooked in a wet pancake batter. It's not my favorite. Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki surrounds the teppan grilled ingredients with thin egg crepes so you can see all of the ingredients in clear layers. Top your okonomiyaki with the sauces provided on the table, cut nice little wedges (like a pizza) to serve yourself and dig into the steamy layers of meat, veggies and noodles. Kimchi and pickle sides were great too.
There is no english menu and the cooks don't really speak english, so point to the pictures that you can make out and pick Soba or Udon for your noodles. We originally only tried to order 2 okonomiyaki for 3 of us as they were rather large but we were told you have to spend at least 7,000 yen per person (or about one okonomiyaki each)
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