25th December 2012. Christmas Day.
The first thing we wanted to try in Osaka is Osaka-style okonomiyaki. I have tried the Hiroshima style okonomiyaki in Nagoya before and trying Osaka style would be the first for me. The people at Osaka Hana Hostel directed to us to Fukutaro at the 10th floor of Takashimaya in Namba. While it is not the main branch, the okonomiyaki still impresses.
There was a short wait before we managed to get seats at this modest size Okonomiyaki restaurant in Takayshimaya. You make your order and you get to see the kitchen crew preparing and pan-frying your okonomiyaki skilfully on a hot, smoking metal griddle.
After some sizzle, drizzle, splatter and the cling clang of two small metal spatulas, your piping hot and still sizzling okonomiyaki is being served in front of you on a diner-style teppan, topped with sweet okonomiyaki sauce and rippled strains of mayo.
Unlike the Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki, the ingredients in Osaka-style okonomiyaki are being mixed together and hence easy to eat compared to the layered okonomiyaki of Hiroshima (which also uses a lot more cabbage than Osaka’s). The interior is also a lot creamier than Hiroshima’s.
My order of okonomiyaki has generous portions of octopus, prawns, spring onions, cabbage and egg all mixed up in one heavenly custardy okonomiyaki and infused with a pleasant smoky aroma. Pair it with the thick sweet sauce and some mayonnaise and get very yummy dish.
Fukutaro also serves Negiyaki style okonomiyaki which is quite similar to Korean panjeom as it uses soy sauce instead of okonomiyaki sauce and has more spring onions. The result is a very savoury dish.
There are two branches, the outlet we visited is located on the 8th floor of Takashimaya at Namba.