The Original Kiji in Osaka (Umeda)
The Original Kiji Okonomiyaki restaurant is in Osaka's central district near Umeda Station and inside the Shinumeda Shokudougai. The joint is unquestionably one of the most highly regarded places for authentic Osakan okonomiyaki at a totally affordable price. Every okonomiyaki is 850 yen or less.
The food is great and cheap, but the retro atmosphere is also one of the reasons why this place is so loved by the locals and the outside visitors.
The secret to the great taste of Kiji is the use of a special dried herb "Ooba" (perilla in English) that adds a fresh taste to the okonomiyaki. Also, another original and very popular item is the "Modern Okonomiyaki" that is made without using flour. Instead, more eggs are used which gives the okonomiyaki a much fluffier texture.
Okonomiyaki Kiji in Tokyo (Marunouchi, Shinagawa)
The Okonomiyaki dishes at the two Tokyo locations are made following the method and ingredients used at the famous Osaka restaurant.
One of the places is in Marunouchi, in the B1F of the Tokyo Building, at a 3-minute walk from the Tokyo Sation.
The other location is in Shinagawa, at a 3-minute walk from the Minato Minami Exit of the Station.
The menu at both locations is the same and closely resemble the one at the Original Osaka location. The okonomiyakis are a little more expensive, however, ranging in price from 890 to 1,290 yen.
What's so fun is that you get to cook your dishes by yourself at your table on an iron plate. This is true for most okonomiyaki restaurants, but with the extra nice ingredients that you get at Kiji, the experience will surely be one that you will remember as the taste is simply outstanding.
You can simply have the "buta tama" (pork) okonomiyaki which is a standard that you'll love. The green perilla (Ooba herb used at the Osaka location) added to it makes it taste so unique and goes wonderfully well with the other mixed ingredients.
Or how about trying the "suji yaki" which is made from a type of oily beef meat. The fat melts into the batter and makes it a rich and tasty okonomiyaki. The abundance of green onions topped on it makes it the perfect combination, balancing out the oiliness with a fresh sharp flavor.
If you're really hungry, then try the "mix yaki", which contains shrimp, octopus, squid, and pork! You can top your okonomiyaki with extra green onions, sauce, and mayonnaise.
You'll also love the yakisoba (fried noodles) at Kiji! Served with the same great ingredients, people rave about that dish as well.
Okonomiyaki's best friend is quite arguably beer! Kiji also serves sake and shochu (Japanese spirit drinks).
For an excellent okonomiyaki experience guaranteed, Kiji is the place to go! The atmosphere is great and it is one of the most authentic and delicious Osaka-style okonomiyaki restaurants in Tokyo. If you are in Osaka than make sure to go to the original restaurant!