Popular Okonomiyaki Restaurant in Dotonbori | Osaka
Okonomiyaki Mizuno (お好み焼き 美津の) is located in the Dotonbori district inside a shopping arcade along Sennichimae-dori Street. The restaurant is one of many okonomiyaki restaurants clustered in this area. Established in 1945, the restaurant started as a café after Dotonbori was burned to the ground in the Great Osaka Air Raid of the Pacific War. As its name suggests, the restaurant now specializes in the popular Kansai pancake consisting of batter, cabbage, and other ingredients. Customers choose the ingredients they like and the resulting mixture will be grilled. Literally, okonomi means “as you like” and yaki means grill.
This is a popular restaurant so you can expect a long line. To speed things up, an employee will start taking your order as soon as they anticipate seating availability. The employees are friendly and accustomed to foreign tourists so you need not fret about being able to place your order. Your chosen mix will be ready to cook as soon as you are seated. Please be aware that new orders will not be taken after customers are seated.
The restaurant’s commitment to serving the finest ingredients has made it popular among a wide range of customers. Ingredients are procured daily from shops in the Kuromon Market, commonly referred to as “the kitchen of Osaka.” The market has specialty sections for each of the common okonomiyaki ingredients (seafood from the fishmonger, meat from the butcher, pickled vegetables from the pickle shop, and so on). Each food item is delivered daily to the restaurant by vendor representatives on bicycles. Deliveries are announced by calling out “maido,” a friendly business greeting. To guarantee freshness, only foods that are expected to be consumed that day are delivered.
The restaurant consists of two floors. On the first floor, there is a long, continuous counter. The counter top is divided into a table section for customer dining and a series of large and thick (3 cm) iron griddles where the okonomiyaki is prepared by chefs in front of the diners. On the second floor, there is table seating with each table equipped with a private teppan (iron plate). At the tables, customers have the option of cooking themselves or having a chef do it for them. Don’t worry, there is no additional charge for the services of a chef. Remember, okonomiyaki is about having things the way you like!
The okonomiyaki of Mizuno cannot be mass-produced. The unique taste embodies the spirit of the people that make it possible and the personal preferences of the people who enjoy the dishes.
Yamaimo-yaki (shown below) is the most popular menu item at Mizuno. The batter is made from mountain yam without using any wheat flour. Choose two items from the following ingredients: pork loin, pork belly, scallops, squid, shrimp, and oyster (winter season only). The inside of the pancake is fluffy and the outside is crispy. The dish is seasoned with yuzu vinegar, which leaves a slightly sweet and sour taste in your mouth. Yamaimo-yaki is recommended for those on a diet, as it cuts down significantly on carbohydrates.
Negi-yaki (pictured below), is an Osaka specialty that deserves special mention. It features generous amounts of green onions, pork, and kimchi. This dish is shaped like a heap of green onions sandwiched in a crepe-like dough. Savor the taste of the crispy green onions and pork and the aroma of the soy sauce.