Botejyu Okonomiyaki

11 02 2009

A couple of days ago, while my family and I were shopping at Liang Court, I developed this horrible craving for Okonomiyaki.

So we trooped to Botejyu on the 2nd floor in the pioneering spirit of trying new things. In fact I haven’t much experience with Okonomiyaki in Singapore before, the only time I’ve eaten it here being at Pachi Pachi (Cuppage Plaza).

Botejyu was not too bad. Foodwise, the Okonomiyaki was quite nice (but then again how bad can cabbage+batter smothered in sauce taste), and so was the yakisoba. My parents and I shared a mochi-cheese Okonomiyaki (that the restaurant is trying to promote as “Okos”) and a plate of seafood Yakisoba.

For some reason I still associate Yakisoba with lots of mayo and aonori.

The Good: The Okonomiyaki was nicely fluffy, and the Yakisoba noodles were superb as far as my limited experiences are concerned. The noodles differed markedly from the usual that you’d get at Taka basement, in the sense that they tasted neither prawny nor alkaline, and had a fantastic bounce in them. The noodles were slightly seared before frying, and were just nice and al dente upon serving.

Service was wonderful as well. We were served by a Chinese waitress called Xiao Shuang, who was very attentive and polite. My mum struck up a conversation from her and found out that she was from Fujian. Interesting. What impressed me was that she bothered to come round and ask us if the food was nice 🙂

The Bad:There’s something about the experience of eating Okonomiyaki in a small cramped place with good friends, that Botejyu is unable to provide. The swanky decor and lack of teppan does take away a significant amount of communality from the experience. It’s like eating carrot cake (the hawker centre kind) at Raffles Hotel.

The Verdict: Some 紅生姜 and 青海苔 would have been nice. Otherwise, the food here is not bad and I would reccomend it to anyone who wants to try Okonomiyaki and/or Yakisoba. Kudos to the good service.

However, those looking for a more rustic experience should look elsewhere. I’m thinking fondly of the Okonomiyaki that I had for dinner one night in Osaka with Japclassmates. It was a squishy little mom-and-pop place, about 5 tables or so in the whole shop. The table we sat at was 4 to a table but we managed to squeeze in a 5th person.

Mine’s the 1st from the right, prawn Okonomiyaki 🙂

Ravenous friends.

I miss the quaintness of paper menus tacked on walls, the warmth of the shared teppan in winter, the cramped shop where you can’t move without touching the person next to you….how the owners were like “OMGSINGAPORE”, our “I Never”  games.

Okonomiyaki is best eaten with friends. You can arrange your friends around the table, or chop them up finely and mix them into the batter. It lends a delicate quality to the taste of the final product.

Of course, one aspect in which Singapore exceeds Osaka is the complete absence of cigarette smoke in eateries. Yay.

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