Sunday, 14 October 2012

Okan おかん - London Brixton Village Market

I have never had okonomiyaki お好み焼き in my life before!! I have seen it mentioned so many times in manga and anime... And the one anime / manga that mentioned it the most was Ranma 1/2. That was one of my favourite mangas! Towards the end of the series it mentioned a lot about okonomiyaki, and it is one Japanese dish that I have wanted to try out for a very long, long time.


If you have never heard of okonomiyaki before, it's a savoury pancake made with white cabbage, pancake mixture and other ingredients like squid or tofu - and obviously it was originated in Japan!



Well, obviously I am a bit of a late blogger, and this place Okan おかん has been opened for quite a while. Plus, I think it's been blogged about so many times! But nonetheless I am going to blog about it! I don't think there are many places in London where you can find okonomiyaki, however I found this one whilst trying to look for Japanese / Sushi restaurants in South East London (further south of the Thames) which isn't part of a chain! There are not that many I would say, but there are quite a few in Brixton! Okan is slightly hard to find because there isn't a shop sign. The top sign was blank. Miss Pinky saw it first. And I thought, is it this place?? Yes it was... The lanterns has its name in Japanese!

Okan - Look closely at the door for the sign... 

Japanese ornaments / signs at the door

Kitchenware

Chef hard at work... Look how many they are making at the same time! Amazing!! ^^

Okonomiyaki being prepared
So there are a few choices of okonomiyaki, soba (Japanese fried noodles) and a small set of starters that you can choose from... After looking at the menu for a bit, I wanted either the tofu or the cheese and sweetcorn... I chose the cheese and sweetcorn, only because it sounded peculiar to have as a pancake (although I have had a bacon pancake in Amsterdam before!!). I had mine with an elderflower and ginger juice. The drink was sweet at first but it became watery afterwards (I took all the sweetness away).
Cheese and Sweetcorn Okonomiyaki - it didn't taste bad at all

Ginger and Elderflower drink

Inside my Cheese and Sweetcorn Okonomiyaki
Miss Pinky chose the squid one... (unfortunately she's allergic to prawns, and received a tingling itchy sensation after eating some of her pancake, because all the pancakes are cooked on two hotplates and the same cooking spatulas are used - so be aware if you are allergic to shellfish peeps!). She also had a Japanese beer Sapporo.
Squid Okonomiyaki - I liked the squid but slightly overcooked for me...

Sapporo Japanese Beer

Okonomiyaki!!! ^^
Well to be honest, this is what I expected. I have tasted okonomiyaki brown sauce before, and I just love the way they add the mayonnaise on top! It beats the savoury pancake I ate in Amsterdam last year too. :D I think I will have a try at making okonomiyaki myself - it doesn't look hard!


Here's also a few pics I took of Brixton Village Market too... I will need to come here again to try out the other cuisines! ^^

Brixton Village ceiling

Brixton Village Entrance

It's very multicultural!!

I saw this sign and laughed :D - 'Fish Wings and Tings' - very Jamaican!

My geeky rating: 4.8/5 (just the signage that let me down - but yes, I will come again!!!!)


Good points: 

- Got to sit at the front where the cooks were preparing all the food!
- Good and friendly service
- Excellent experience in a non-chain Japanese restaurant

Bad points:

- Bad signage - I would have gone around in circles still looking for it if Miss Pinky didn't point it out!
- Miss Pinky got a small allergy reaction (I think it took a day to wear off)

Address: Unit 39, Brixton Village Market SW9 8PS


Website: www.okanbrixtonvillage.com



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Update 11/08/2013...
So many months later, 10 months to be exact I went back to Brixton Village to meet up with Miss Pinky, her new boyfriend Mr Picky with my mum, and this is what I saw! Okan have a painted sign above their door!! Yay!!
Okan sign ^_^

Improved

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