From what starts off looking pretty messy indeed...
...come some pretty tasty okonomiyaki!
And while it's true that the finished products don't look great,
the large prawns and generous slices of bacon within
sure do help make them tasty!
All too soon, it was time to say au revoir to Japan. And for the final meal of what had turned out to be a pretty gastronomically epic trip (that had included memorable oyster, uni, tai, anagomeshi and sushi meals), I decided to go for okonomiyaki at Momotarou, a respected Osaka specialist with a branch located conveniently within the LUCUA section of the Osaka Station complex.
Having had her first delicious taste of okonomiyaki in Hiroshima a few days previously, my mother had turned into a veritable okonomiyaki connoiseur: able not only to distinguish between the layered Hiroshima- and really mixed together Osaka-styles of this dish but having definite preferences as to which style she preferred more. As for myself: I will readily admit to having been a greater fan of Hiroshima style okonomiyaki for some years now but, well, needs must and I actually do reckon that Momotarou's okonomiyaki, despite being Osaka-style okonomiyaki, still was pretty tasty as well as being incredibly substantial.
While my mother contented herself with a classic Osaka-style okonomiyaki, I elected to have a modanyaki: that is, an Osaka-style okonomiyaki that -- as with Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki -- came with an additional noodle component. For some reason, I actually thought that it'd also be good for me to order a side dish of vegetables; only to belatedly discover that what had been listed as mixed vegetables on the restaurant's English menu actually also came with pork and squid and, frankly, could have been a pretty filling meal by itself!
In retrospect, I'm sure that the waiter who took my order must have thought that I was a major glutton and I wish that he had told me that I had actually over-ordered. But since the deed was done, I was determined to polish off what had been set in front of me -- and very nearly succeeded but had to give up with two or three bites to go because I truly felt like I would have burst if I had stuffed more okonomiyaki into my mouth and stomach!
Even while I manfully chowed down on my mammoth modanyaki and supposed "vegetable side dish", I was thinking that the Osaka- and Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki (even the modern Osaka-style version that comes with noodles, like Hiroshima okonomiyaki) really are pretty different. Among other things, whereas I think people are correct in describing Osaka-style okonomiyaki to be pancake-like, I reckon that Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki is actually more like a savory layer cake than pancake.
At the risk of upsetting fans of Osaka-style okonomiyaki, I also happen to think that the Hiroshima-style version of this dish is neater looking and consequently generally more visually more appealing. At the same time though, I must admit to also thinking that about the one way in which Hiroshima-style okomiyaki could be aesthetically improved -- and maybe taste-wise too -- would be by having be topped by bonito flakes that the steam causes to "dance" about, as is the case with Osaka-style versions of this very Japanese offering! ;b