Chibe, Osaka

Following on from my shabu shabu and fugu lunch in Osaka, a reunion of school friends and general happiness, the said school friends and I found ourselves heading  into the city centre, Dotombori, for a bit of food and so that I could soak up the evening ambience in Japan’s second city. Walking quickly past a four storey restaurant with a giant crab on the outside, past small Shinto and Buddhist shrines where we stopped to offer thanks and prayers to the ancestors, I was led to a place that apparently served top notch Okonomiyaki, Osaka’s local speciality.

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Apart from sounding very cool and slick, Okonomiyaki is a savoury vegetable pancake topped with a variety of fillings. Our little eatery was spread across 3 floors with most of the tables being taken. The best thing was the giant hot plate/griddle in the middle of each table. Here, one only gets given a small side plate as the bulk of the food is kept warm on the griddle and also serves as a teppanyaki platform!

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With so much to choose from, one can easily get confused. Luckily, a shellfish allergy quickly narrows down choices to a few, but a few good solid ones. I decided to go in for one called ‘Stamina’ – pork, egg, kimchi, chicken.

Noodles
Stamina
Super speed mayonnaising

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Before it all arrived, however, a huge pile of steaming vegetable noodles arrived on the griddle which we all gladly tucked into, piling shavings of dried tuna and sea weed on top. Then came the main attraction – a perfectly round mountain of a pancake. I was told not to touch it as the waitress soon came over to our table  and with laser sharp precision shot mayonnaise across each one. As we had a 2 year old with us, the waitress very patiently drew a manga character face on her Okonomiyaki . Not to mention, they even had kids’ cups, cutlery and plates to offer!

Pork omelette
Manganomiyaki

There is something so  incredibly satisfying about a steaming hot muffin-like pancake of cabbage, carrot, onions and so much more, topped with meat, kimchi and egg, and then their special ketchup and mayonnaise. Moreish, deeply additive and bursting with joy, one just wasn’t enough and we were all digging to another before ordering a pork omelette, which couldn’t compare, but was a wondrous protein powerpack.  The second one, mind you, had an even more intricate manga character drawn on it by the waitress and one that my friends’ 2 year old instantly recognised!

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This place is a lot of fun, and that they cater for children makes it even better. The only weapons one is given is a mini spatula and a chopstick. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish with just these two implements!

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Okonomiyaki, I salute you. Chibe in Osaka, I hope many more have this experience!

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Overall Experience: 8
Food: 7
Recommend you go: 7

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