Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Food | Okonomiyaki | Abeno, London

Thanks to the recent mini series of The Hairy Bikers in Asia where they toured various Far Eastern countries and territories such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Korea and finally Japan where part of the episode was focused on okonomiyaki, no less than a few weeks after airing I found myself in a cute little restaurant in London town sitting in front of a hot plate waiting to be served this culinary dish.

Before the Hairy Bikers show, I had no idea what this o-word food was, and for someone like me who is an incredible foodie, I was determined to find out. Everyone has heard of the food that Japan has brought to the Western culture from sushi and sashimi to udon and gyoza, but okonomiyaki? Off to find out!

Thanks to the aforementioned episode, I learnt that an okonomiyaki is basically a Japanese savoury pancake which is cooked right in front of you and what the contents are depends on your taste. It is one of their equivalent of fast food in Japan and friends gather together to have them. A quick Google search let me find out that Abeno restaurant (http://www.abeno.co.uk/) serves this, the original nestled between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn underground stations, and obviously became quite popular that Abeno Too (yes that's the actual name of the restaurant) popped up seconds away from Leicester Square station and this was the place, along with my sister, I visited.

 The pancake took about 15 minutes or so to cook so definitely fast food.

The restaurant was definitely an experience and a worthwhile one at that. I really enjoyed myself and so did my sister. It's definitely one that we would want to try in the future with friends and family. The most unusual part of it was the seating - there are no chairs, just benches. And the benches are ones that you can open up and put your coats and bags inside keeping everything on display to the bare minimum - very Japanese! 

Pricing wise, this is quite cheap. The pancakes come in two sizes, "Deluxe" and "Super Deluxe" with the latter ideally to share between two people, or one very hungry person. Most of the Super Deluxe pancakes are within £15  and because it's so good value, you can always order other items on the menu and have a bit of a tasting menu. There are so many different varieties to choose from and different fillings - you can even customise your pancake which is what we did. We couldn't decide between the "Tokyo" consisting of pork, prawn and squid, or the "Osaka" consisting of pork, kimchi and prawn style so we asked whether we could have the combo of the two which came at £1 extra.

If you want to try this culinary delight yourself, and or like the theatre of watching food being prepared in front of you, then head over to Abeno and they can be found at:

47 Museum Street, London, WC1A 1LY
020 7405 3211
Monday to Sunday - 12noon to 10pm (last entry)

Abeno Too:
17-18 Great Newport Street, London. WC2H 7JE
020 7379 1160
Monday to Saturday: 12noon to 11pm (last entry)
Sunday: 12noon to 10pm (last entry)


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  1. Replies
    1. It really is! You should try it someday - let me know how you find it xx


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