Jugemu and Shimbashi is a restaurant specialising in okonomiyaki and soba. The restaurant even has two separate doors - one for Jugemu (the okonomiyaki side) and one for Shimbashi (the soba side). If you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to see the soba being hand-made on the Shimbashi side.
We might come back to try the soba, but this visit was all about okonomiyaki, since my mum and I had been craving it for a while. Some Japanese restaurants do have it on their menu, but it’s often a from-frozen version, which isn’t anywhere near as good as the real thing.
My partner got the Genki dama (22.5), with wagyu beef and a fried egg on top:
If you’ve never had okonomiyaki before, it’s often referred to as a “savoury pancake”. It starts off with a base of flour, cabbage, eggs and a couple of other ingredients, and then you add your extra toppings like meat or prawns.
The “pancake” is lathered in a layer of okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo, and bonito fish flakes and it tastes so good.
I decided to get the Jugemu special (24.5), which comes with pork, prawns and other seafood. I was able to ask for it without pork (I don’t eat meat):
Shimbashi makes Osaka-style okonomiyaki, which means all the ingredients are mixed together. There’s also Hiroshima-style, where the ingredients are layered on top of each other instead.
If you’re a vegetarian, worry not, as they do also have the Country vege mix (22.5), which is what my mum had. This comes with vegetables and mochi. The pale-coloured flakes you see in the picture above are fish flakes, which they provide on the side. So make sure to skip that one!
Sometimes you can watch the okonomiyaki being made by the chef in front of you, or even in some places in Japan, make it yourself. If you’re ever in Japan I definitely recommend you add okonomiyaki to your list of foods to try (especially if you visit Hiroshima or Osaka).
But in the meantime if you’re craving some okonomiyaki, Jugemu was really satisfying. We hope to be back to try the soba another time!
Neutral Bay isn’t accessible by train, so you’ll either need to catch a bus or drive. Finding a parking spot can be a bit of a pain but I recommend trying the nearby Woolies car park. You do need to buy something from the Woolies to get free parking, but you may get lucky - when we went the ticket machine wasn’t on, so we got free parking regardless.