Sunday, 31 March 2013

Okan

I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture and cuisine. Since a manga phase when I was around 11 during which I wanted to be Sailor Moon and watched every Studio Ghibli film out there, I have preserved a special interest for anything Japanese and still view a visit to Tokyo as a future goal. Of course when one thinks of Japanese cuisine one instantly thinks of sushi but it is a lot more diverse than that. There is a whole ramen culture that is increasingly appearing in London's restaurant scene but also the rather delicious okonomiyaki ( a japanese style omelette/pancake) that I had gotten my first taste of at Abeno Too not too long ago. Having absolutely loved the flavours completely new to me and the and handicraft that goes into making each one of these, I was more than excited to try Okan, an apparently slightly more affordable though in no ways inferior place to have okonomiyaki south of the river. Nestled in the heart of Brixton market, a market that is quickly becoming the place to find the most diverse collection of different cuisines to decent prices in a fun and unpretentious environment, I couldn't help but fall in love with Okan from the minute I walked in.  
Tiny and sparsely furnished, with only a few wooden tables, it feels more like a living room than restaurant. This homely atmosphere continues with the warm and attentive service and I could not help but smile watching the all female cooks singing Japanese songs while preparing our okonomiyakis. And boy were these creations worth waiting for. Whether filled with meat, fish ( I had the prawn one) or cheese and sweetcorn, their more interesting veggie option alongside a tofu one, and whether topped with noodles or not (a great value £1,50 addition to your okonomiyaki if you desire), they without question top the Abeno Too effort in their freshness and flavour. With no okonomiyaki over £10 Okan with out a doubt is one of the best value, authentic and welcoming restaurants that have been to in London and will definitely see me return and indulge my love for Japan for some time to come!