Your source of good luck when exploring Japan!

"Zo-Ya", Authentic Osaka Okonomiyaki Mentioned in the Michelin Bib Gourmand!

Writer : takoyakikun

"Zo-Ya" is a famous okonomiyaki ("as-you-like" savory pancake) restaurant in Osaka. Long popular in a city where people are particular about the taste, it was written up in the Bib Gourmand of the 2017 Michelin Guide for Kyoto and Osaka.

Zo-Ya's Exterior
Zo-Ya's Exterior

Access

It is located right next to the exit from Tamade Station on the Yotsuhashi Subway line. Since there is no sign indicating it's an okonomiyaki shop, those who don't know may not understand what Zo-Ya is, but the customers never stop coming to this popular restaurant.

The Seats at a 2nd Floor Table
The Seats at a 2nd Floor Table

This time, the first floor seats were already occupied, so I went up to the second floor, where the seats soon filled up, too. That shows how popular it is!
Instead of grilling it yourself, the okonomiyaki is cooked by the chef and brought to your table, which has a "teppan" (iron plate) on top.

The Seasonings
The Seasonings

There are three types of sauce: salty, sweet and "muddy".
The muddy sauce is made of the rich and spicy sludge that develops when making sauce. It is added in small amounts to give body to yakisoba and okonomiyaki.

Pickled Red Ginger, Dried Green Seaweed Flakes, Smoked Dried Bonito Flakes
Pickled Red Ginger, Dried Green Seaweed Flakes, Smoked Dried Bonito Flakes

I was wondering whether to use chopsticks to take the seaweed and bonito flakes, but when I asked the staff, they said I could grab them with my bare hands.
I was a little surprised, so I decided to use my chopsticks...
Sensitive people may not be able to use their bare hands.

Zo-Ya's Menu

The menu is divided into three parts: okonomiyaki, yakisoba and tamagoyaki, a rolled egg omelet with a choice of ingredients wrapped inside. You can choose from squid, pork and shrimp.

By the way, it takes at least 15 minutes to cook okonomiyaki, so I recommend ordering the yakisoba and rolled egg, which are quick to make, at the same time!

Zo-Ya's Menu
Zo-Ya's Menu

Draft Beer is the Best Match!
I think okonomiyaki and draft beer is the best match!

Small Draft Beer ¥490
Small Draft Beer ¥490

It's not just about Okonomiyaki. The Yakisoba is also Superb!

While waiting for the okonomiyaki to cook, I ordered the quickly-made yakisoba.

Yakisoba with Squid ¥800
Yakisoba with Squid ¥800
Squid Yakisoba
Squid Yakisoba

Sprinkle as much dried seaweed and bonito flakes as you like, and it's done!
It smells so good!

Squid Yakisoba
Squid Yakisoba

The squid is cut into big pieces, the perfect size for its exquisite chewiness!
The fresh crunchiness of the cabbage is also pleasing!

Yakisoba Noodles
Yakisoba Noodles

The noodles are thick and springy in texture.

Using "Muddy" Sauce
Using "Muddy" Sauce

First, I ate it with the sweet sauce, then I added a little of the muddy sauce to enjoy the change in taste. With such a deep flavor, I could eat this delicious dish forever!

Pork Okonomiyaki, the Most Popular Item in the Restaurant!

Okonomiyaki with Pork ¥860
Okonomiyaki with Pork ¥860

Don't forget about the pork! Covering the entire okonomiyaki pancake, slices of pork loin and pork rib meat are cooked to a crisp!
It is topped with mayonnaise, mustard and ketchup.

Thick-cut slices of pork are on top of the pancake!
Thick-cut slices of pork are on top of the pancake!

Just add the toppings that you like, and your okonomiyaki pancake is done!
As the bonito flakes dance above the okonomiyaki, they appear to be alive.

Pork Okonomiyaki
Pork Okonomiyaki

Its soft yet light and crispy texture is a testament to the chef's skills.

A Cross-section of the Okonomiyaki
A Cross-section of the Okonomiyaki

The crispy fried pork is so fragrant, and the slightly sweet cabbage is very tasty!

Pork Okonomiyaki
Pork Okonomiyaki
Flavored with "Ichimi" Spice Powder
Flavored with "Ichimi" Spice Powder

Crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.
This is the taste of Osaka!

Basic information on "Zo-Ya"

OPEN
Address
2-7-10 Tamade-Nishi, Nishinari-ku, Osaka City[MAP]
Access
1 minute on foot from Tamade Station on the Osaka City Subway Yotsubashi Line
Tel
06-6657-1616
Business Hours
5 pm – 11 pm (Sundays and holidays: 3 pm – 11 pm)
Closed
Mondays