I gotta tell ya...the Japanese sure know how to freak out a person with their food. When the okonomiyaki we ordered at Ebisu was placed on our table, I noticed that my friend froze. His eyes became transfixed on something, a look of terror on his face. I then saw that he was staring at the tufts of bonito flakes on top of the okonomiyaki, which were flailing and writhing like worms.
"Why...why is it MOVING?!?!" he stammered.
After I explained that the heat convecting off the hot pancake was causing the paper-thin fish flakes to billow, he laughed nervously.
I stifled a chuckle as we dug into the okonomiyaki. Darn, I thought, I should've made up something to make him freak out a little bit more. But being the man of science that he is, I figured the jig would've been up before too long anyway.
In any case, the okonomiyaki, which is a Japanese pancake consisting of shredded cabbage, batter, egg, and your choice of different meat mix-ins, was otherwise quite tame. The one I tried this time around had oysters in it; although they must have skimped on this ingredient since I only detected one or two small morsels in the entire pancake.
Instead, they compensated with a little too many squirts of the sweet soy sauce and the kewpie mayo. This overpowered the subtlety of the cooked batter, which by the way, wasn't as burnt as I would've liked it.
A plate of yakisoba we ordered, the Japanese version of chow mein, was good but unremarkable. The katsu don, which was a bowl of rice topped with scrambled egg and breaded pork was fine, but the meat needed to be more tender.
The standout of the night, however, was the dessert with the inexplicable name of "Chocolate Puffet" (which I am thinking of submitting to Engrish.com). What I think they meant to call it was "Chocolate Parfait," because that was what it was; a dessert consisting of several layers of 'stuff'.
This thing, which was served in a tall sundae glass, indeed fit that definition -- but just wait until you hear what is in those layers.
Starting from the top:
A Maraschino Cherry
Vanilla Ice Cream
Kellogg's Frosted Flakes
Del Monte Fruit Cocktail
"Frosted flakes, fruit cocktail and ice cream?!?!" my friend exclaimed, as he scratched his head for the second time that night.
Trust me, it tastes better than it sounds. Don't be surprised when I tell you that it's actually quite the winning combination.
Yup. Leave it to the Japanese to dare concoct such a dessert oddity and to make bonito flakes seem like its alive.
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