Home of Japanese Pancakes: Okiway Brings Distinctive Okonomiyaki to Brooklyn

House of Japanese Pancakes Okiway Brings Unique Okonomiyaki to Brooklyn

Behind the bar, a chef stands over a dimpled cooking gadget with steel pokers, shortly rotating little balls of dough. A couple of toes away, one other is swirling cracked eggs into skinny pancakes on a flattop, then piling it excessive with cabbage and different fillings. Each are visibly enthralled by the method. That’s why you’d be sensible to seize one of many twelve seats on the teppanyaki counter at Okiway (1006 Flushing Avenue, Brooklyn; 718-417-1091) in Bushwick — in the event you seize a desk you’re lacking out on the present, a novel expertise in a metropolis that’s recognized for having all of it. The not too long ago opened spot presents outdated and new twists on Japanese avenue meals, impressed by Tokyo’s Kabukicho District.

The inside is laid-back and considerably industrial, an ideal match for the neighborhood. Wooden tables, flanked by brightly coloured steel stools, fill the remainder of the ash-gray eating room, and a bubblegum-pink neon Okiway signal hangs throughout from the open kitchen. These balls of dough are takoyaki (six items for $8), full of octopus, topped with candy otafuku sauce, Kewpie mayonnaise, and pungent bonito flakes. The chef prepping the dish diligently rotates the dough all through the night time. When she plates an order, she watches the fragile bonito flakes sway on the recent dough balls. “I like watching it transfer,” she says.

The piles of egg and elements on the opposite finish are okonomiyaki, a savory grilled pancake dish that has many regional variations all through Japan. At Okiway, the cooks give attention to two types: conventional Osaka and Hiroshima with yakisoba noodles. Each are provided in a number of variations, some conventional, others folding in Western flavors and influences.

The basic Osaka okonomiyaki ($12) is layered with pork stomach, otafuku sauce, pink ginger, and Kewpie. The Mexican Osaka ($15) is killer. One of the crucial in style menu objects, it blends chorizo, avocado, cilantro, chipotle mayo, and crema. The spicy Hiroshima ($15.50) is one other favourite. It’s a not-too-hot mixture of pork stomach, crispy ramen noodles, and spicy otafuku sauce. Chef Atsushi Yokota, not too long ago of 1 or 8 Sushi, is consulting. As of final week, you can see him engaged on okonomiyaki flipping strategies with government chef Michael Arrington, who’s hung out within the kitchens of Bondst and Morimoto.

The coaching course of started months earlier than opening day. It’s nonetheless being taken severely and your entire workers appears excited in regards to the distinctive idea. Proprietor Vincent Minchelli greets company, buses tables, and thanks prospects for visiting. When my visitor and I sat right down to order, our server gushed about quite a few dishes on the menu — we ordered nearly all the pieces she instructed. “We have now a collective,” Minchelli tells the Voice. “Everyone seems to be working as a staff. I’m not into the thought of titles.”

The idea was impressed by Minchelli’s love affair with Japan. He began visiting as a child, racking up a complete of sixteen journeys all through his life. Coming from a restaurant household (they personal beloved Parisian restaurant Le Duc), he’d pattern a number of eating places in an evening, from small yakitori joints and izakaya to high-end eating places. Now residing in Bushwick, working as a hairdresser, Minchelli desires to carry among the meals he’s skilled to NYC. To place it collectively, Minchelli teamed up with fellow Japanophile Amanda Jenkins. “Nobody did okonomiyaki correctly,” he says. “I bear in mind the primary time I went with a buddy and sat on the lengthy bar with them cooking proper in entrance of you.”

An fascinating collection of small and huge plates fills out the menu. Guacamole ($7.50) will get a Japanese twist with the addition of wasabi and a facet of freshly fried gyoza chips. Charred kuro edamame ($7) are completed with vivid and lemony yuzu kosho. It’s fully not like most variations, with a touch of smoke and good citrus and lightweight chile notes from the dressing. Not-at-all-fishy candy anchovies and capers ($6) with watercress and ponzu is a refreshing palate-opener, a terrific introduction for these skeptical of the tiny aquatic creature. Handmade shrimp gyoza ($7) and cactus sashimi ($5) with ponzu and spicy daikon are different in style choices. On the entrée facet, there’s black squid ink fried rice ($11), squid shishito in soy butter ($12.50), pork and ginger with rice ($15), and extra.

To scrub it down, there’s a brief collection of sakes, sochu, wine, and beer, together with uncommon Japanese craft brews with uncommon flavors like wasabi and oysters.

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