Stumbled upon a great restaurant in Amsterdam's Jordaan district
I just thought I should post a real score for the Chowhound community that I came across last weekend while strolling in the Jordaan district of Amsterdam.
The restaurant is called Japanese Pancake World (check out their excellent website for info and history that I have pasted below). I had never run across Japanese pancakes (okonomiyaki) during any of my culinary adventures, I was truly missing something! They are not only tasty, but works of art; little round lactticeworks of veggies, meats, fish, and sauces. Apparently, this is the ONLY restaurant that makes okonomiyaki on the continent.
I highly suggest you arrange to sit at the teppan grill (kind of like the grill you find at the classic Japanese steak houses) where you can see the chef whirl his spatulas and turn basic ingredients into round wonders. For a foodie like me, the Japanese pancake education doled out by the chef/owner at the teppan grill was the culinary highlight of my visit to Amsterdam.
Now for the food
My partner and I split two pancakes, which was plenty for the two of us.
We ordered an Osaka-style pancake called Shogayaki Special Osaka, which had the Osaka pancake base of batter and veggies and flavorings, but also marinated beef, spinach, and onions. The overall taste was rich and satisfying. I particularly enjoyed the strong ginger seasoning of the beef and fresh green taste of the spinach and the overall crispy texture of the pancake.
The second pancake we ordered was a Hiroshima-style cake called Butama Hiroshima, which was constructed quite differently than the Osaka cake. The actual pancake was crepe-like, and then loads of veggies were mounded on top to dizzying heights to form the basic Hiroshima pancake, but then the Butama ingredients (pork strips, cheese, and mushrooms) were added to the mix. The real mouth-dropper was when the chef skillfully flipped the pancake over in one adept move to brown the other side. You dont see things like that in my kitchen. The first flavor that hit me from this cake was actually the fruit found in the sauce added to the outside, very tasty citrus, but as I delved deeper, the fruit tang mingled with the smoky bonito, pork, and unexpectedly appropriately placed cheese. A definite winner.
All in all Japanese Pancake World was a great value. We found the food excellent, the owners gracious, and the experience highly educational.
Japanese Pancake World
2e Egelantiersdwarsstraat 24a
We went on the advice of this and other posts and had a GREAT meal (one osaka and one hiroshima pancake) - everything was fresh and well prepared. Our chef also turned out to be a Class A chowhound, himself, and gave us good advice on the rest of the city. I'll post that separately, but if you happen to go (which you should), it won't hurt to ask for suggestions.
Thanks for the posting. Lots of folks don't scroll down or do searches and maybe one is on their way to Amsterdam. From what I remember, there's a similar place in London. I'm relegated to eating Japanese food alone because my partner lived there for many years and tends to stay away from that cuisine now. I'm intending to try the London place one of these days soon.