a sybarite in paradise
reviewing the food & entertainment pleasures of Honolulu
I’m always delighted to find new places in the food court at Ala Moana. A a few months ago I tried Koi Koi Okonomiyaki after it first opened. The menu was confus
ing, but promised “healthy style” Japanese food. When I returned today the menu had been simplified and the healthy claim gone.
Kansai (Osaka) style Okonomiyaki is what is served here. It is a pan fried batter cake with toppings. It’s a savory Japanese pancake. I ordered the one with pork($8.95). I believe there was cabbage and green onion in the batter. It’s laid out on the flat grill in a large circle and then the pork is put on top before turning. Pork in this instance is bacon, 5 whole strips. Once the bacon is cooked it’s turned back over and the sauces are put on. A sauce sort of like a Worcestershire sauce but thicker and sweeter is put on first. Then a design of mayonnaise is added after that. Next is a sprinkling of furikake (a Japanese seaweed spice). Then on top of it all is placed a pile of fish flakes.
It’s a strange mixture of textures and flavors, but I like it. It’s quite large and I couldn’t eat it all. An hour later, I knew I’d never go back. I started having a strong MSG reaction. I had forgotten that I got it the last time too. I get a lightheaded headache and upper jaw pain when I eat too much MSG. Why this horrible additive is still in use I haven’t a clue. Our favorite Dim Sum place uses it too and sometimes I’m fine and sometimes I get a reaction like today.
I should learn to ask.
Okonomiyaki is also available at Okonomiyaki Chibo in Waikiki and Okonmi Cuisine Kai on Makaloa St. I’d like to try them, if they don’t use MSG.
Koi Koi Okonomiyaki
1450 Ala Moana Blvd
2201 Kalakaua Ave Ste A305 (Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center)
Lunch: 11:30a-2p M-Sa, Dinner: 5p-10p M-Su
Okonomi Cuisine Kai 944-1555
1427 Makaloa St. at Ke'eaumoku Street, across from Wal-Mart
Dinner: 5 to 11 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays; closed Mondays
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Koi Koi Okonomiyaki