Okonomiyaki in Shanghai at Takenosuke

I’m still living in Shanghai – and I’m still enjoying Japanese food whenever I can! Today I checked out an Okonomiyaki place with my wife and her friend… and her friend’s 5-year old who happened to sleep on the floor throughout the entire meal… the slacker.

Okonomiyaki at Takenosuke in Shanghai

The name of the shop is Takenosuke (武之助). They serve Okonomiyaki in Shanghai and play old school Japanese music on the sound system, like Ishikawa Sayuri, Inoue Yousui, Okamoto Mayo, Yumi, and Uemura Kana (hope I got all those names correct). The place prides itself on being a Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki shop, so you can get the Hiroshima-style Okonomiyaki that is filled with noodles, and the place has Hiroshima Carps baseball team photos everywhere.

No Carps stuff in this photo though...

It took forever for our three okonomiyaki orders to come, but we all agreed that it was solid okonomiyaki when they finally showed up. Note, my wife is from Osaka, so her standards for okonomiyaki are pretty high.

If you sit upstairs you will take off your shoes and sit in one of those low tables where the floor is also also depressed so you don’t have to cross your legs. This type of table is called a horigotatsu…shiki (掘りごたつ) table. Hori is to dig. Kotatsu is one of those indoor heated tables… These are not heated, of course.

Unlike they would in Japan, this restaurant doesn’t give you extra aonori (青のり seaweed flakes) or katsuobushi (鰹節 dried fish flakes) or sauce at your table, but that wasn’t a big deal for us. Also, you don’t cook the okonomiyaki yourself a hotplate, they’ll completely prepare it and bring it to your table.

One fun thing was that they had some examples of Hiroshima dialect and other random things on the table.

takenosuke031

It also seems that they have a sort of system set up where Chinese speakers can get an automated explanation of the menu items… it had something to do with a scanner device and special tags embedded into the menu. Looked pretty interesting, but we didn’t try it.

If you’re in Shanghai and need Okonomiyaki be sure to check out Takenosuke!

Japanese post Takenosuke
Address
上海市長寧区古羊路537号
古羊路 near 宋园路
guyang lu near songyuan lu

Japanese Food in Shanghai: Kogumaya

In my never ending quest to eat as much Japanese food as possible, my wife and I went to Kogumaya in Shanghai on a Wednesday night for dinner.

There were only two of us so we got seats at the counter.

On the way to the counter we passed by lots of small rooms filled with middle-aged Japanese men sitting on the floor excitedly talking and drinking. The other customers seemed to all be Japanese, which is always a good sign if finding good Japanese food is your goal.

From the counter we could see some of the famed Japanese style baked clay plates that Kogumaya prides itself on, and we could also see the young Chinese staff doing the preliminary preparations for the food. Apparently the main chef is Japanese, but we never saw him as he was always back in the kitchen. Regardless of who was preparing the food though, it was all delicious.

The first dish that came was the kakiage. It’s a little different than tempura because it is fried up with many different things together, while tempura should only have one item fried at a time. This kakiage was unique because it was seafood, shisou, and salted. It was great, crispy and light. This was one of my favorite dishes of the night.

Kakiage

Next we had the tatsutage. Tatsuage is basically like karage (Japanese fried chicken) but the flour-base stuff is different somehow. I don’t cook, so I don’t know… it was also awesome.

If you cannot read or speak Japanese or Chinese I have no idea how you would order at this place other than pointing at other peoples food, which would be tough considering that everyone is in a private room. All the wait staff are native Chinese speakers and speak fluent in Japanese. To maintain the ambience of the place they even make an effort to speak Japanese to each other constantly when communicating orders.

Kogumaya's Menu

They had some reasonable course options, one costing 400 RMB a person. Not bad.

We also got the Kansai-style Oden. It came with yuzukosho, basically yuzu fruit and uh, pepper, I think. It’s the green one in the picture, and it’s awesome. I have had yuzukosho on many occasions in Japan, and this was just the same quality. The yellow stuff is simply tougarashi, the spicy Japanese mustard.

Oden

We also ordered the kamataki gohan, which is basically rice prepared in a giant-ish metal pot. Quality rice. Proof again that not all rice is created equal. If there are only two of you and you order this be prepared to take leftovers home though – it’s a lot of rice.

The tofu was what my wife really came for. She had heard from a particularly gourmet Japanese lady friend that it was amazing. It was indeed very good. This tofu was creamy, cool, and sweet. Very tasty. I would recommend this to all of my western friends who don’t really see the point of tofu.

In terms of price, it’s sort of expensive for China standards, but if you’re used to Japanese prices it’s not bad at all. There were only two of us, and I ordered an Asahi beer and an atsukan (180ml) of warm sake, and it cost us about 500 RMB total. We had plenty to eat – too much even. I guess a regular meal there would run about 350RMB per person.

Good stuff. Go check it out if you’re in Shanghai and want Japanese food.

Address!

Kogumaya
105 Chengdu Nan Lu,
成都南路105号
near Changle Lu
近长乐路


View Larger Map

Chinese review site.