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Aug 30, 2006 05:41 PM

Monja Street, Tsukishima, Tokyo

Wondering if anyone has some favorite places for monjayaki in Tsukishima's Monja Street. I read there are 60 or so places concentrated in this area, but which ones are the better places? I suppose I could just queue up to the shops with the lines. Curious to know if anyone has a preference.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's a piece that describes the area and the food.

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  1. When you read worcestershire sauce in these kinds of articles describing Japanese foods, is it really worcestershire, or are they referring to tonkatsu sauce? I never saw a drop of worcestershire until we moved here (to the U.S.) - of course, that could just have been my parents - but it makes me wonder...

    The sauces are similar, but tonkatsu tends to have more fruit and vegetable base, which makes it more complex, although good brands of worcestershire, with anchovy can have some depth. Cheap worcestershire is like cheap bbq sauce - sugar (HFCS) and some vinegar - you're lucky to get some real molasses for coloring.

    3 Replies
    1. re: applehome

      They call it oosta-sousu, and it's definitely not tonkatsu sauce. I remember Ikari brand worcestershire sauce from when I was a kid, and that's what was usually used to flavor yakisoba. I just googled Ikari sauce and came up with an interesting article (linked below) that claims that worcestershire sauce has been used in Japan for 109 years, and that most households consumes 2 liters of it annually.

      1. re: E Eto

        Great article - thanks for digging it up. I wonder what the origin of tonkatsu sauce was, some sort of oosta sousu look-alike, or something that existed from before. Given that katsu didn't exist until the western influence, why would there have been a sauce... If oosta always had anchovies, why would the Japanese evolve a version without fish? You'd think they would have started there. Just thinking out loud...

        Also - this is from 2005, do you know if Ikari survived?

        1. re: applehome

          Ikari was a strong brand so I'm sure whatever happened to them, the brand still remains, though probably under another corporate umbrella. See here:

    2. I've never had monja. It never looked appealing to me and I'm kind of turned off by the method of eating. How is it compared to okonomiyaki? I'm aware of the preparation differences and regional issues, but not much else......Wait, I remember I had it once at a place in Ebisu. Seem to remember an emphasis on getting some of the batter crusty...

      1. Monja is a bit too labor-intensive for my taste, at least compared to the payoff. But I guess the elaborate preparation is all part of the fun.

        I had a good experience at Oshio (03-3532-9000; Tsukishima 1-21-5). They have dozens of varieties; mentaiko cheese was my favorite.