Seiwaa – Cheap and Good Okonomiyaki from $10
I’m sure we all agree that Japan is one of the world’s top foodie destinations, famed for countless of delights ranging from fresh fish to desserts. Putting aside the usual Japanese favourites that we Singaporeans are all so familiar with, allow us to flip you into the world of Japanese savoury pancakes at Seiwaa.
Tucked away on a little street filled with backpacker hostels and Indian restaurants, lies this hidden gem. Before you jump to any conclusions about how “ulu” the location sounds, Seiwaa is in fact located only a 5 minute walk away from Rochor MRT station. I chanced upon it months ago, and we’ve made another trip down recently to share with you this amazing discovery.
Okonomiyaki, which literally means “grilled as you like it”, is a Japanese savoury pancake. A typical Okonomiyaki will consist of ingredients such as flour, eggs, cabbage and toppings of your choice. At Seiwaa, you can DIY your pancake (don’t worry, clear instructions are provided) or feel free to ask the chef to help you out. Prices start from as low as $10!
We were fortunate enough to have the chef help us out on the previous visit so this is actually our first DIY experience with Okonomiyaki. First, we mixed the batter well and laid it out on the griddle with a thin layer of oil. The estimated time taken for each side to cook is about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pancake. The hardest part was flipping the pancake without creating a mess. After all the hard work, you may top off your golden-brown Okonomiyaki with the condiments provided: topping sauce, Mayonnaise, Dried Bonito flakes and Aonoir powder.
We settled for Mix Okonomiyaki ($16) which includes pork, squids and shrimps. The sweetness of the seafood combined with the salty bacon makes this light pancake absolutely delectable. In addition, the finely-chopped pickled ginger in the chopped cabbage adds a pop of tartness, but nothing too overwhelming. Having this again just rekindles my love for Osaka and its specialties.
Perhaps fewer people are familiar with Monjayaki, which is said to have originated from Tokyo. Although the batter ingredients are similar to that of Okonomiyaki, Monjayaki is more runny and resembles melted oozy Mozzarella cheese. We went ahead with Seafood Monja ($10) which includes shrimps, squids and fragrant Sakura Ebi. As this dish is trickier to handle, you may wish to hand over your spatulas to the Japanese sensei of Monjayaki at Seiwaa. After it is cooked, dive right in and enjoy it straight off the griddle with your mini spatula.
Though not the most photogenic of them all, Monjayaki is almost like a concentrated gooey mess of Okonomiyaki. The rich flavours hit you immediately and the best part? The crispy bottom paired with the chewy surface. Trust me, you will scrape that griddle clean because it will hit all the right notes for you.
Calm your whining tummies down with their Salmon and Bacon Fried Rice ($12) while waiting for your pancakes to cook. As if it doesn’t sound delicious already, let me just tempt you more by saying it tastes even better than it sounds – smoky, garlicky fried rice loaded with tender salmon chunks. Ugh, I am so craving for a plate of this right now.
Never underestimate Japanese street food, for they can fill you up as well as a bowl of ramen can. Expect to be treated with fresh ingredients all the way from Japan. Furthermore, if you’re up for a challenge, they have a 1 for 1 90 minutes Ala Carte Buffet that will fill you up to the brim. An unpretentious and homely restaurant offering an experience of Japan on a griddle; What’s not to love?
Address: 72 Dunlop Street, Singapore 209400
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat, PH 11am-11pm
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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