Outside Japan, Okonomiyaki is normally described as a Japanese savory pancake except here in Manila where we call it a Japanese Pizza. Okonomiyaki in Japan is usually sliced in two but since Pinoys tend to associate this dish with Italian Pizza, Kagura Restaurant in Makati Cinema Square started serving it in six equally divided slices much like what else? ….. Pizza 🙂
Unlike Pizza, this favored Japanese dish doesn’t have tomato sauce so it must be more like a Pancake than a Pizza right? haha:) Just try it and enjoy every bite!
Kagura is the only restaurant who doesn’t offer Sushi and Sashimi in Little Tokyo. What sets this restaurant apart from other Japanese restaurants in the area is its good customer service. Kagura Okonomiyaki Restaurant opened in 2002 introducing Okonomiyaki – one of Japan’s most popular dishes. I was able to have a short conversation with the Operations Manager named Ethel and learned that the restaurant was conceptualized by Master Yokota – her beloved husband.
There are two main variations of Okonomiyaki; Kansai Style (also called Osaka Style), and Hiroshima Style. Okonomiyaki originated in Osaka – a city which is also famous for Takoyaki. Osaka has more Okonomiyaki restaurants than any other city in Japan. Okonomi simply means “what you like” or “what you want”, while yaki means “grilled” or “cooked”; combining both words means “cook what you like”.
Okonomiyaki’s most common ingredients are flour, water, eggs, bell pepper and cabbage. The cabbage is thinly chopped and mixed with flour, water and eggs. Toppings and batters tend to vary according to region. Some toppings may consist of thinly sliced chopped pork, thinly sliced chopped beef, chopped onions, squid, mushrooms and shrimps.
I ordered Ebi-tama – it has a combination of shrimp and egg toppings. “Ebi” is “shrimp” while “tama” is egg in Japanese. In Japan, they are applying sweet version of tonkatsu sauce while in our very own Kagura, they brush the batter with Otafuku Sauce which has a sweet and fruity taste. Otafuku Sauce has a refreshing tangy taste and spicy aroma, I want to get one since the lovely manager shared that this sauce are available in a Japanese Grocery nearby.
Kagura’s version of Okonomi-yaki also has a Japanese Mayonnaise toppings apart from the Otafuku sauce. The methods for preparing it differs from one restaurant to another. Kagura also serve complimentary Mugi Cha – a tisane made from roasted barley, a popular drink in Japanese and Korean restaurants.
I was not able to finish all six slices since this meal is really filling. It was first time to eat in Little Tokyo and I had a really good experience, I’ll probably go back soon to try some Ramen and Takoyaki. Im not sure if there are other Japanese restaurant in Manila that offers Okonomiyaki, please let me know if in case you discovered one.
Hours of Operation
11:30 am – 2:30 pm
6:00 pm – 10:30 pm