Day 235 – Okonomiyaki

Some days I really have to work hard to find an interesting new thing, especially after 234 days of them, other times they just come one after another, like rain-drops after a dry-spell. Well my friends, today it was pouring.

The goal of my day was to try karaoke, properly, for the first time. I’d had a coronavirus karaoke attempt back in lockdown, but now my friends had decided it was high time that I try the real deal. But was it a new thing? I’d already kind of tried it, but not really. To make sure I was still meeting my challenge we decided to tick another thing off my list by going to a Japanese restaurant nearby and eating okonomiyaki, a savoury Japanese pancake.

Earlier this year I found that there was a restaurant in Frankfurt actually specialising in okonomiyaki called Konamon but for obvious reasons haven’t been able to try it until now. Actually, tonight was my first time at a restaurant since March so it was really a big deal. I needed a bit of dutch courage to carry me through karaoke, so I decided to try some umeshu, plum wine. It sounded nice and fruity, and my friend assured me I’d love it. I was expecting a normal glass of wine, but it turned out to be more like a shot, served on the rocks. I gave it a sniff and it smelled a bit like a sweet cough syrup we have in the UK called Calpol, but I tasted it and it was heavenly. Fruity, but not too sweet thanks to it being icy cold – I loved it. I’m going to have to get my hands on it somewhere in Frankfurt because it was so good. In fact, after looking on Just One Cookbook, I might try and make some next year.

Then came the okonomiyaki. I ordered mine with chicken (because I continue to be a bad vegetarian when eating out) and noodles. The noodles come in the very light and creamy pancake, along with crunchy shredded cabbage, and on top is traditional otafuku sauce (like a sweeter Worcestershire sauce), bonito flakes, and the chicken. It was so good! The only downside to it was the size – I just couldn’t manage it all. I kept looking forlornly down at it because I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it. I think next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll have to reluctantly share one, but blimey, this dish was amazing.

I reluctantly left my remaining okonomiyaki behind and dragged my feet to karaoke. I have been very much an anti-karaoke person all my life, but in the spirit of the challenge had agreed to give it a try.

Well, I admit I was wrong because I had a great time. I wasn’t totally sure at first, but being in a private booth with just me and 3 others made it feel a bit more comfortable (and safe.) We ended up staying until gone 2am and quite happily sung a hearty rendition of X Gon‘ Give It To Ya by DMX with my friend’s husband.

I had the best night I’d had in such a long time: an accidentally Japanese themed evening can never be a bad experience in my eyes. I managed to fit at least 3 new things into the night, and the biggest of all was me actually enjoying karaoke. Who knew?

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