1-Cent Western Food

It started raining when I was walking along Shijo Street in Gion.  A gloomy day + the sight of rain always make me hungry.  So I sniffed like a bloodhound, and found myself standing across this interesting looking shop.  I was attracted by the big, bold signboard, the colours, the lights and..the mannequins – one being chased by a dog, one standing at the kitchen, and one sitting at the entrance.

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I don’t know what’s the story of the dog biting at the pants of the boy, and the pants were down at the knees.  I walked around the mannequin..y’know, to see what I could see..

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Then I went to survey the cooking area.  Open kitchen concept, and I could see what they were cooking.  I saw 3 round batter topped with chopped ingredients, cooking on the iron griddle.  I was more intrigued by the colourful traditional art posters that decorated the wall above the cooking area.  I looked at the mosaic of art, but at the same time I couldn’t help getting the whiff of what was cooking.  Smelled really good.

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The 1 and only offering in this shop was issen-yosyoku, Kyoto’s way of cooking okonomiyaki.

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What they looked like:

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What they looked like when served to me:

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I am not a big fan of okonomiyaki, but since I was already at this cute and kitschy shop, I might as well try it.  It wasn’t so much about the food; it was more of enjoying the atmosphere of this rather unique outlet.  And the interior surprised me even further.

There was a signpost that promised there would be 5 beautiful girls in kimono waiting in the restaurant, and I thought, huh? what are they waiting for?

There she was.  Sitting at a corner, the smiling but unable to talk beautiful girl in kimono.  The 5 “girls” were mannequins..they wouldn’t be interacting anytime soon.  One can eat his/her okonomiyaki in peace, without having to partake in any conversation.

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And then I took a closer look at the “wallpaper” of printed envelopes.

They were probably famous people or characters.

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But these looked like..erotic art.

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On another wall, there were wooden plaques.  These were”wish plaques” i.e. one writes his/her wish on the plaque and pray to the gods for their wishes be fulfilled.

All those plaques in this restaurant looked like the wishes were sex-related.  If only I could read Japanese..it would have been a hoot.  One of the plaques had a woman kneeling down, and milk squirted from her breasts into a bowl.  Is she asking for abundance of milk, or is she competing in a milk-long-squirt Olympics?  And a man had a dick for a nose.  One can only imagine what this particular wish is about.

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