All About Japan

Dining Out in Hiroshima

| Food & Drink , Hiroshima

In downtown Hiroshima, one may find businesspeople rushing from one meeting to the next, or fans heading to see the Hiroshima Carp baseball team at the nearby Mazda Zoom Zoom Stadium.

Taking the tram line to Hatchobori brings the traveler to the famous department store Parco. Behind Parco is a building by the name of “Okonomiyaki Kyowakoku Hiroshima Mura” that contains okonomiyaki outlets grouped together.

We paid a visit to a shop on the third floor of Okonomiyaki Kyowakoku. The restaurant features a large counter that also serves as a grill where chefs prepare their dishes in front of their customers. Hiroshima Carp memorabilia hangs on the walls, since Hiroshima is also a very large baseball town and their fans like to gather here for evening matches and beers.

Skilled chefs can fry up an okonomiyaki meal in under 10 minutes with the customer watching on. Okonomiyaki is not unlike a pancake or burrito that is prepared with an assortment of batter, vegetables, meat, eggs and noodle. It is also served with mayonnaise and sweet sauces that add flavor to this layered dish. The chef cooks the okonomiyaki on a teppan, or hot plate, that is built into the table where the diners eat. Hiroshima has its own version of okonomiyaki that differs from those made in Tokyo or Osaka, and essentially it consists of more toppings and less batter.

Another restaurant worth visiting is a cozy bistro called Kaki Tei (“oyster conclave”), located in Inarimachi on the banks of the Kyobashi River. Its quiet and intimate terrace is furnished with wooden chairs, flowers and colorful lights that add atmosphere to this riverside location. Of course, the main feature on the menu is oysters that are prepared in many variations, including “Salade de oyster et beef with vino bianco” or “Mini filet beef of Matsuzaka steak with oyster sauce vino rosso.”

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