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Oct 22, 2013 09:44 AM

The okonomiyaki place at Sky Tree?

Last trip to Tokyo, we visited Sky Tree, and spotted a restaurant where they were serving okonomiyaki on grills in the middle of the table.
We didn't have time to stop but it looked great, and in our coming trip I'm thinking of going.

I'm pretty sure it was this place:

Anybody been? Is it as good as it looked?
I'm figuring any okonomiyaki in Japan will be better than what we get in SF, but I'm curious...

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  1. Says it is a branch of a Tsukishima monja-yaki place called Daruma. But they also do okonomiyaki...Might be more fun to go to the honten in Tsukishima unless the view is great or something.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Silverjay

      Thanks Silverjay.

      Wow! Never heard of monja-yaki so I probably just thought it was okonomiyaki. I looked it up and it sounds interesting!

      Is Tsukishima worth a special trip? Is there reason to go other than for Monja? I know nothing of this Tsukishima, but we do plan to visit Sky Tree this trip...

      1. re: pauliface

        Tsukishima has a kind of old timey feel to it as it didn't get wrecked in the fires from the 1923 earthquake or bombings during the war. There's a shitload of monjayaki places and then other little old style spots selling tsukudani and such nibbles and I seem to recall hearing about some tachinomiya or other hole-in-the-wall places near there as well. Last time I was there was in the evening close to sunset and it had a cool vibe to it as lights started coming on. I didn't stay to eat though.

        1. re: Silverjay

          Thanks! I am in charge of dinner arrangements and my co-traveler is in charge of daytime itinerary. I will submit this idea to the pool. :-)

    2. Personally, if I only had, say, three months of lunches and dinners in Tokyo, I doubt that any monjayaki restaurant would be in my top 180 choices of where to eat. Of course YMMV.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Robb S

        No I don't like it either....I found the tachinomi I had heard about: . Looks quirky interesting and is open from 4pm.

      2. Sorry to be nasty, but monja-yaki tastes to me like baby food warmed up on a steel plate. While the places that serve it may exude huge amounts of shitamachi character, monja-yaki just doesn't really make it as a cuisine. I totally agree with Silverjay and Robb S.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Tripeler

          Well it is okonomiyaki that I know and love. Would u trust a monja place to do it well or just move on...?

          1. re: pauliface

            Personally, I'd move on. It really should be a place that specializes in Okonomiyaki. My choice would be the less popular HIroshima style -- if the place specializes in that, I would know they are quite serious. Osaka style is heavier and less elegant.

            1. re: Tripeler

              It depends on the time of day and level of activity, but walking from like Monzen-Nakacho, through Fukugawa (there is a small Edo museum there), to Tsukishima, to Kachidoki, to Tsukiji, and over to Ginza is one of the more interesting walks you can do in Tokyo as you can get a decent Ye Olde Edo experience in look and feel with the canals/rivers/bridges and some old architecture, businesses, markets, etc.

              1. re: Tripeler

                ...isn't Shimo-kitazawa known for having a lot of okonomiyaki places? I know that was the case a few years ago.

                1. re: Silverjay

                  Thanks for all this, silverjay.
                  I think we have a book or two of walking tours; I'll see if I can find one that goes through the places you mention.

                  And as for Shimo-kitazawa, we are staying in Shibuya and it appears just a couple of subway stops away. However, we tend to work our evenings around dinner destinations, but our lunches we just fit into our daytime itineraries. So we're unlikely to take a special trip for lunch. In fact, we are currently debating whether or not I am allowed to build a day around lunching at Tofuya Ukai :-)

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    Yeah, Monja-ya ground central in Tokyo is a fascinating neighborhood, and worth a walk-through, but I don't think one should go for the monja itself. There are several Okonomiyaki places in Shimokitazawa, and my favorite is one that does Hiroshima style is Hiroki (ヒロキ) not far from the south exit.

                      1. re: pauliface

                        Yep, that's the place. I have been going there from time to time for over 30 years.

                        You know, it wouldn't be so hard to recreate that in San Francisco someplace. Often, it is the simple food that people find difficult to do properly.