Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Carp Okonomiyaki, Kanda (カープ お好み焼き 東京支店)

The northeast corner of Kanda continues to yield occasional delights, despite years (years, I say) of exploration and (recently) relatively frequent bouts of despair at finding new, good things.

Carp is obviously not new - it's well-used and a bit greasy. But you'd be greasy too if your main feature was a griddle, and all your food was fried on it. I can't really imagine what you'd look like if your main feature was a griddle though.

Is this place famous? A film crew came in while I was eating to get some location-y footage for that night's broadcast. Made me feel good, because if it's famous enough to film, it must be tasty enough to eat. The staff took it in stride - basically " Whaddya want us to do?"

Actually that's a point - maybe the staff is really from Hiroshima like it says on the sign. They were very southern in their lack of Tokyo politesse.

Here's what was under the camera's inspection. It's an okonomiyaki, and if you never saw one before, now you know. To make one, you're going to start with a thin pancake, a crepe if you will, and on top of that put a big pile of noodles (they have udon or soba; I thought soba would be weird so I got udon, but I regret that because soba means ramen in this case), and on top of that put a big pile of cabbage, and some green onion, and three strips of bacon. Fry until hot and softened.

Flip over and cover with sauce and powdered seaweed. Leave on the griddle while you eat so it stays hot.

Here's what it looks like inside after you cut it. Really, it's hard to explain why these are so darn tasty, but they are. Darn tasty they are. The Hiroshima style with embedded noodles is really nice too, better than without.

I thought I was pretty clever, finding this place. Then I came back to the office and told a colleague who really likes high volume junk food. I said "I had okonomiyaki in Kanda," and he said "Oh, was it Carp? Did you get double-noodles?" I'm glad I didn't know it was an option.

Meanwhile, on the street near Carp, "Natural Hand Comfort". tee hee.

I've got a card on my desk that a colleague gave me for a birthday years ago. It says "YOU ARE ONLY YOUNG ONCE, BUT YOU CAN STAY IMMATURE INDEFINITELY."

It says "-OGDEN NASH-" after that, so it's not like someone at Hallmark is wonderfully creative.

If you wanted to eat at the source, drink from the font, that sort of thing, you could visit the original shop in Hiroshima's 'Okonomiyaki Village' (since 1976). Looks like this one is better though.

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