2017 Apr 6
- Visited: Thursdsay 6 PM
- Ordered: Special KONDO monjayaki, Small glass of Sapporo beer
- Price: JPY 1720 (~ USD 15)
- Tip: They cook one serving at a time, so if you go with multiple people it may take a while to finish the meal.
- Link: Tripadvisor
Monjayaki is another type of Japanese pancake, somewhat similar to okonomiyaki, but it tastes very different. Unlike okonomiyaki which is more solid and has layers, monjayaki is mixed up together and much more sticky. Apparently monjayaki is a “Tokyo dish,” so a local cuisine.
The restaurant was located on a small island South of Tokyo, called Tsukishima. It takes 20-30 minutes on public transit with transfer from Tokyo so the location is not the most convenient. Tsukishima, at least along the main roads, had tons of monjayaki restaurants. Kondo Honten was one of the oldest and most popular. It was not on the main road, but in the back alley.
I went in a little after when it opened so it was empty, but by the time I was done the restaurant was quite full.
Their English menu was pretty extensive and I went with a dish – special KONDO – that looked the most like their signature menu.
The beer was very small.
Monjayaki ingredients came in a bowl and I was a bit lost as to what was going on because I had never had monjayaki.
After a few minutes a good-looking guy cooked it for me, and it was entertaining to watch. It got pretty hot because I had a huge sizzling pan in front of me.
He first poured all the ingredients on the pan, vegetables on one side and meat in the other. Then he cut shrimp and pork using the spatula then mixed them with vegetables. And then:
Then after a while it became a sticky batter with a bunch of things spread out on a sizzling pan. I’ll be honest it did not look appetizing.
I had a tiny serving dish and teeny tiny spatula to eat with.
At first it felt a bit like somebody’s experimental cooking that did not turn out well. It was a little sweet and the flavour of ingredients felt a little too blended together. But as I was eating monjayaki got slightly burnt because the pan was still hot, and it tasted better.
“Monja street” of Tsukishima really had tons of monjayaki restaurants. I saw mostly families or coworkers dining together, and very few solo eaters or travelers. I think it’s a very interesting dining experience and also tastes very unique. Would I go back? Likely not. But I would recommend this to people looking for more local and authentic food.