Visiting the Kansai region, and Kyoto specifically, and wanting to try one of the signature dishes of Western Japan, “Okonomiyaki?” Or, have you already tried and loved the dish, but are craving the delicate flavor of bonito flakes, grilled cabbage, soft and tender pork strips, and maybe even grilled octopus if you’re feeling for the flavor adventure? Look no further than NoBoRi (のぼり) in Fushimi, Kyoto. The restaurant is conveniently located right by the JR Momoyama Station, so JR Rail Pass Users will be able to easily locate the restaurant from the JR Station. The Kintetsu Line (Momoyamagoryo-mae Station), and the Keihan Line (Fushimi-Momoyama Station) are also located fairly close by.
What makes this shop stand out from others in the area, as there are plenty of Okonomiyaki restaurants around? And, why pay an extra visit to the residential area and neighborhood of Fushimi in Kyoto if it is not in your itinerary? To start off, this small and quaint shop is as welcoming as home. The shop owner is a lovely, welcoming lady (a great grand-mother!) who provides a wonderful and comfortable dining experience to all customers. Photographs of the owner’s family, especially of her great granddaughter, adorn the walls of this shop, showing and presenting just how much love the owner has for her business and family. And of course, you are able to taste a mother’s love through her cooking, and “Obachan” (literally translating into “grandmother”) pours her love and passion into her cooking like no other. Every bite of the exquisite and authentic Okonimiyaki served here will leave you feeling very pleased and extraordinarily satisfied! Moving on to the details on the special Okonomiyaki dish served here. This shop serves Kansai style Okonomiyaki, which is unlike the Hiroshima Style. Hiroshima Style Okonomiyaki includes the addition of Yakisoba noodles in the center of the flour-battered dish, while Kansai style is more of a battered dish with all ingredients grilled together.
The standard order is “Pork Okonomiyaki,” and it is freshly grilled at the griddle right before your eyes. The pork is so fresh and tender that it practically melts in your mouth. The batter is seasoned to perfection, with a great balance of the sweet Okonomiyaki sauce, and the savory taste of the pork and other toppings. Mayonnaise is optional, and is available for you to add to your own servings. The presentation is superbly neat, and looks mouthwatering when placed at the warming griddle in front of you, if you are seated at the table.
The other seating option is at the counter, where the main griddle sits directly in front of you. The seating is limited, with about six seats at the counter, and six to eight at the table, but this only serves to add to the feeling of home this restaurant boasts.
All dishes including Okonomiyaki, Yakisoba (Grilled Noodles), Buta Kimchi (Pork and Kimchi), and more, are cooked on the main griddle and then served at the table, or at the counter. One can request a small metal spatula for easy self-serving.
I would no doubt, hands down, recommend the short train ride to JR Momoyama Station if only just to try this Okonomiyaki shop. Don’t forget to drop by one of Fushimi’s famous Sake Breweries and Museums, while you’re in the area. Take a stroll through this historic and local part of Kyoto, home to Emperor Meiji’s grave, sake museums, plenty of shrines and temples, and this fantastic local Okonomiyaki shop.