Okonomiyaki Chitose: An Explosion of Flavors in Osaka
I can’t be grateful enough to be able to eat at Okonomiyaki Chitose, a small food shop at the back of an alley in Shin-Imamiya, Osaka. It has been running since 1959 under the hands of Hideki-san. Because of its location, one might be tricked into thinking that this is just another okonomiyaki shop. However, looks can be deceiving. This small shop not only packs a lot of punch, but also flavors.
Okonomiyaki is a type of savory dish that looks like a pancake – it might be known as the Japanese pancake or pizza is some countries, like in Indonesia. The word okonomiyaki (お好み焼き) can be divided into two, Okonomi (お好み) which is translated as "what you like" and Yaki (焼き) or "grilled." It is a combination of flour, cabbage, eggs, and a variety of toppings you can choose.
Okonomiyaki is one of my favorite dishes, something I will always spend my money on when I visit a place. When I visited Osaka with my friends for my spring break this year, I read about this place on the internet and I just had to go no matter the cost. We arrived around 6 pm at Osaka International Airport and took the bus to Namba (around 1000 yen) then the subway to reach Okonomiyaki Chitose. It is nearby the exit of Dobutsu-en Mae Station (動物園前駅). I arrived at 8:30 pm, just in time for the last order call. There was a couple after me who wanted to try this as well, but they could not as it was past the last order call. Make sure you arrive far earlier than the closing time!
We sat around a hot grill that kept our okonomiyaki warm, though I thought it was for us to make our own okonomiyaki. I am happy it was not since I might not have been very successful, honestly. The atmosphere feels very authentic. You can hear the sizzling batter on the top of the hot grilling pan. There is a map that shows the country of the visitors and there have been a lot of people from Indonesia! My friend and I ordered 3 dishes, consisting of 2 modanyaki dishes and a specialty dish of Okonomiyaki Chitose. Do not worry if you do not speak Japanese, everyone working at the shop knows English and they speak really good English!
Shrimp Modanyaki (750 yen)
I ordered the shrimp Modanyaki, due to my unending love for shrimp. Modanyaki is a version of Okonomiyaki with yakisoba on top of it. I really enjoyed the dish. The seasoning was perfect. I was in awe almost on every bite I took. The shrimp were seasoned as well, so every bite was, indeed, an explosion of flavors.
Pork Modanyaki (700 yen)
My friend ordered this. I was never a big fan of pork, but this one was definitely good. It was very nice and the meat was tender and easy to chew. However, it was a little bit too strong for me. Nevertheless, it is definitely a great dish for all the lovers of pork out there! At least my friend was enjoying it very much.
The House Special (900 yen)
Nothing beats the house special. It has everything you need. Rice, yakisoba noodles, shrimp, and pork, all combined and topped with, probably, a special sauce. Probably? It was not described there on the menu, but it tasted better than the sauce on top of my modanyaki! Definitely going to come back for this and the Negiyaki which I was not able to try.
Okonomiyaki Chitose is definitely a must visit restaurant for those who love food. A small quaint and authentic place matched with the fragrant smell of grilled okonomiyaki batter. Anyone who visits Osaka should take their time to eat here and have the experience of eating authentic okonomiyaki at such an inexpensive value. Definitely a place to revisit the next time I'm in Osaka!
Value: 5 out of 5
Taste: 4.5 out of 5
Service: 5 out of 5
Details on Okonomiyaki Chitose:
Address: 1-11-10 Taishi, Nishinari-ku, Osaka 557-0002, Osaka Prefecture (location on Google Maps below)
Phone: +81 6-6631-6002
Open Hours: 12 pm - 9 pm, open every day except on Wednesday.
There's also a map to Okonomiyaki Chitose on their website.