Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Houzenji Sanpei - Osaka, Japan

Okonomiyaki with the bonito shaving topping
This restaurant was sort of thrown in last minute as we sat there by the Dotonbori canal contemplating on dinner. I have been wondering what the okonomiyaki tasted like but hubby wasn't quite convinced to try it. I managed to talk him into it by referring to an article I read recently. If you're interested, check it out at Tsunagu Japan.

But what is okonomiyaki ? It's like a savory pancake made of shredded cabbage, mountain yams and other ingredients like seafood, meat, mushroom, etc. Just like the name okonomi which means "how you like" or "what you like", you could put pretty much anything.

The okonomiyaki restaurant mentioned in that article on Tsunagu Japan was conveniently located at Dotonbori area. Google has it on the map and off we went looking for it.

Houzenji Sanpei was located on one of those discreet alley at Dotonbori. Like most of the restaurants in Japan, the name was in Japanese with a tiny English name which could be easily missed. A couple was outside the restaurant with the guy taking pictures of the outside of the restaurant before they went in. They were the first customer and we were the second. The restaurant was very tiny with only around 20 people capacity consisted of 3 tables and some bar seatings.

There were only 2 people working - the chef and his assistant/server. The assistant brought us an English menu. Thank God for English menu. We chose 2 okonomiyaki from the recommended section - pork with kimchee and shrimp and cheese.

It took about 15 minutes before our orders were brought out one by one and placed in front of the already heated teppan (iron griddle). The teppan kept the okonomiyaki warm through out our meal. Both okonomiyaki were wonderful. I like the pork and kimchee one better. The combination of pork and kimchee were just right and made it felt lighter. The shrimp and cheese was good too especially the texture of the cheese (I think it was mozzarella) towards the end after being a while on the griddle.
Outside of the restaurant 
Inside the restaurant

For me, two okonomiyaki felt a bit too much. It felt heavier towards the end of the meal. But I definitely recommend trying this place out. I read that reservation was recommended though I wasn't too sure if the staff speaks English well enough.

Total bill for 2 okonomiyaki, 1 soda and 1 grapefruit juice was JPY3200.

Rating :

Houzenji Sanpei
1-7-10 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka Namba
Phone : 06-6211-0399