Okonomiyaki is Osakan soul food, they tell me. It means "cooked the way you like it" (okonomi = as you like it and yaki=cooked or grilled.) At Dohton Bori, they take your freedom seriously, giving you all kinds of crazy combo choices for what I'd describe as a savory pancake/omelette. I kept it inside the ropes, adding ham, cheese, prawns, and eggs to a batter made of shredded yam, flour and water. On top were the usual accompaniments: a Worcestershire-like black sauce, mayo and bonito shavings.
You ever seen the famous photo of the giant crab sign from Osaka? Well, this is the place: the Dotonbori neighborhood on the city's south side. Mr. Crab is hanging from a building on the left.
We bellybucked the grill, next to two chain-smoking girls.
I had a good feeling when I got my tools. I noted that the chain-smoking girls had forsaken their chopsticks for the mini-shovel, eating bites off of it between drags.
Phase 1 - dumped out. The pile begins to sizzle.
Phase 2 - formation. The Jackson Pollock becomes a Matisse.
Phase 3 - bubbling disk. My stomach starts to rumble.
Phase 4 - the flip. The crowd oooooh's and ahhhhhh's.
Phase 5 - almost ready. Sauces applied, waiting for the fermented fish crown.
Phase 6 - time for the shovel! I chopped with the shovel, ate with the sticks. Dodo sat nearby, eating of all things - fried rice! Fried rice? In an okonomiyaki spot? Dodo, defend yourself in the comments section, please.