CLOSED – Okonomiyaki Hut 信樂屋日式鐵板燒

As of 2014/4/30, Okonomiyaki Hut 信樂屋日式鐵板燒 is permanently closed. 😥

okonomiyaki goodness
okonomiyaki goodness at Okonomiyaki Hut 信樂屋日式鐵板燒

Located not far from Central Park, 信樂屋日式鐵板燒 or Okonomiyaki Hut as I’d like to translate it in English, is a fairly recent establishment which opened during summer 2012.

I happened to pass by it one day, and looked it up online as I got home. The information on their facebook page looked promising, and even featured a TV report (see below) where the owners explained how they imported key ingredients from Japan, and where Japanese natives vouched for the authentic taste of the okonomiyaki.

Fast forward to the restaurant. All the tables have an iron griddle in the middle, with some space left for plates and a glass of beer. Indeed, they serve draught beer which include a small plate of edamame which comes in two flavors: slightly cooked in soy sauce 醬燒 or plain 原味.

slightly cooked in soy sauce 醬燒 or plain 原味?
slightly cooked in soy sauce 醬燒 or plain 原味?

Looking through their pictures, it appears that they recently replaced their original menu for one more streamlined, where you first chose your base and add on the toppings that you want. The okonomiyaki page of their current menu is also online.

As my first time there, I went for their basic okonomiyaki, and simply added some cheese and Japanese mochi. I did inquire about other choices on the menu, and the Taiwanese waitress, who I suspect was one of the co-owner, kindly advised me to wait until I had eaten my okonomiyaki before ordering the dish I inquired about. I don’t know about you, but I always take it as a sign of great service when the waiter/waitress is on the look out for me, and helps order the right amount of food, not seeking to get me to spend as much as possible.

Once you’ve ordered your okonomiyaki, they turn on the iron griddle, check that it reaches the right temperature with a laser thermometer, someone brings the bowl of ingredients, and starts cooking before your eyes. You obviously have to wait while it’s cooking, and they even have a timer to not forget when to come back and flip the okonomiyaki to let the other side cook. A fresh beer and some edamame is a great way to kill this waiting time, but if you’re not keen about that, they do offer other appetizers. Once it’s done, they cut it in quarters for you and you can start digging in!

Tastewise, well, I have nothing to compare with, but I thought it was good and well-seasoned. I definitely want to come and try the other kinds of okonomiyaki. I did expect a portion bigger than what I ended up getting, but in the end, it actually was enough to appease my appetite.

My only real disappointment came from the fact that I partly went there for “the show”, and only got to enjoy half of it. Of the two okonomiyakis ordered, one was cooked at the table, while the other came already done, having been cooked by the Japanese chef, who is also the co-owner. I don’t know if they always do that, but I wish that they would do all the cooking in front of the customers, it’s much more fun this way.

Lastly, I have no idea if they speak English, but you can look through their facebook pictures and point at what looks good, or install a translation-dictionary on your mobile, such as Pleco, to convene basic words (ingredients) to the waiters. As I said above, the service is pretty good and helpful. They also do take-out.

Je n’ai pas le courage de traduire l’article en français, mais vous l’aurez bien compris, il s’agit là d’un restaurant qui sert de l’okonomiyaki, un plat japonais.

À vrai dire, la lecture de Ni d’Eve ni d’Adam d’Amélie Nothomb m’avait donné l’eau à la bouche depuis un moment, mais les restaurants à okonomiyaki en France ça ne court pas les rues, et j’ai donc dû prendre mon mal en patience.

Lors de ma première visite à ce fameux restaurant que je me permet d’appeler “la Cabane à Okonomiyaki”, ma dégustation de cette spécialité japonaise s’est donc mentalement accompagné de quelques lignes tirés du livre où Amélie Nothomb y partage, entre autres, ses souvenirs nostalgiques sur l’okonomiyaki. En espérant vous donnez un avant-goût de ce plat, je partage ci-dessous ces lignes aussi culinaires que littéraires.

Rinri pelait du gingembre, Hara épluchait des crevettes, Masa avait fini d’atomiser le chou. J’additionnai dans ma tête ces données avec la sauce d’Hiroshima et m’écriai, … :
– Nous allons manger de l’okonomiyaki!

– C’était mon plat préféré quand je vivais dans le Kansaï!

Je contemplai la préparation de la pâte à crêpes, puis la cuisson des okonomiyaki. Cette odeur de chou, de crevettes et de gingembre grésillant ensemble me reporta seize années en arrière, à l’époque où ma douce gouvernante Nishio-san me concoctait le même régal, que je n’avais plus jamais remangé depuis.

Rinri ouvrit la brique de sauce d’Hiroshima… Je saisis le carton et respirai avec nostalgie ce parfum de prune amère, de vinaigre, de saké et de soja.

Aucun restaurant japonais au monde ne propose cette cuisine populaire si atrocement émouvante, à la fois si simple et si subtile, si bon enfant et si sophistiquée. J’avais cinq ans, je n’avais jamais quitté les jupes de Nishio-san et je hurlais, le coeur déchiré et les papilles en transe. Je ratibosai mon okonomiyaki

Ce que je mangeais m’accaparait trop. Je vivais une aventure de la mémoire d’une profondeur si bouleversante qu’il ne fallait pas espérer la partager.

Name: 信樂屋日式鐵板燒 Okonomiyaki Hut
Website: (also the source of the pictures used here)
Address: 高雄市新興區新田路91號 // No. 91, Xīntián Rd, Xinxing District, Kaohsiung City
Price: 200-300 NT + service charge
Atmosphere: good for small groups, family, semi-romantic. I love the huge Japanese painting hanging on the wall.
Seats for children: Yes


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