At Okonomiyaki Columbus in Yokohama, diners do the cooking
If you find yourself wandering around the Yokohama area near Chinatown and have never tried Japanese savory pancakes, check out Okonomiyaki Columbus.
Okonomiyaki — a mix of wheat flour-based batter, cabbage and egg — comes with an assortment of meat, seafood or vegetable options that you cook yourself at your table.
This shop, which uses seasonal, organic vegetables, offers two styles of okonomiyaki, Hiroshima and Kansai. Hiroshima style typically includes noodles and uses a special sauce.
Okonomiyaki Columbus is on the smaller size with limited seating, and you’ll notice that all the tables have a grill in the middle. This style of dining is best enjoyed with friends, but if your okonomiyaki is undercooked or overcooked, you have only yourself to blame.
I ordered the Kansai-style octopus okonomiyaki, and the waitress brought a bowl with the ingredients in it. This was my first try at okonomiyaki, and the staff was more than willing to show me how to cook at my table.
You first want to mix everything up really well in the bowl. Then pour some cooking oil on the grill’s hot surface.
Next, pour the bowl’s contents onto the grill. Use two spatulas to move the batter into a pancake. Wait until one side is nice and golden brown before flipping it over.
Wait just a little longer until you feel the pancake is cooked thoroughly.
There should be a bunch of condiments available on your table. Be adventurous and add sauces and mayonnaise on top and start digging in.
For the quality of food I received, the price was very reasonable at about $7. If you come hungry, there is an all-you-can-eat option for about $10 and all-you-can-drink of non-alcoholic beverage options for an additional $4 that’s available from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
You may upgrade and add some premium items such as yakisoba, udon, kimchi fried rice and salad for the equivalent of about $5.
Okonomiyaki Columbus also offers the Korean equivalent of okonomiyaki, a spicy offering called chijimi, and a dish with Tokyo roots, monjayaki, that is also similar to okonomiyaki.
Location: 1-3-7 Matsukagecho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa 231-0025
Hours: Open 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for lunch and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. for dinner Monday through Friday; open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekends and holidays.
Prices: Okonomiyaki starts at about $7.
Directions: A two-minute walk from Ishikawacho Station. GPS: N 35° 40.0052’, E 139° 45.9792’
Information: Online: okonomiyaki-columbus.com