Dohtonbori Greenhills: A Surprisingly Filling Okonomiyaki Experience

dohtonbori greenhills san juan japanese restaurant manila

The finished product! (or at least half of it.)

Dohtonbori Philippines in Greenhills has been open since November 2015, and despite being the first ones to visit and weather the long queue and the soft opening, I just wasn’t able to bring myself to blog about it so easily! Long story short, I loved the food and the ambience, but I couldn’t bring myself to share it with everyone else just yet because I wanted to keep it to myself for a little while longer. I’ve been to the okonomiyaki restaurant for a total of two times, but I immensely enjoyed the experience and I can say with certainty that I will be coming back regularly. At this point, I feel like you already know what my opinion is of the restaurant, but let me share my Dohtonbori experience with you anyway.

dohtonbori greenhills san juan japanese restaurant manila

Soft opening, long lines, long wait.

The soft opening of Dohtonbori Philippines in November 2015 was greeted warmly and excitedly by many fans of curious foodies. I made sure to visit during the first week of opening to be spared from the long lines, but it seemed everyone was just as ecstatic as I was. We had to wait for almost an hour to get seated, and when we thought we were spared from more test of patience, we were in for more waiting – -this time, for our food.

dohtonbori greenhills san juan japanese restaurant manila

For our first okonomiyaki, we went for something safe — we chose Suji-Gyu. According to the staff, one serving of okonomiyaki is good for two people, so we decided to order just one and try it out before ordering another variant. The ingredients were served in a plastic mixing bowl fifteen minutes later. We were already actually hungry, but we knew we had to just bear with it until we finish cooking. It took another 15 minutes to finish cooking our food, but during our first time, we spent a little more time figuring things out. It didn’t help that we knew nothing about cooking and had to rely on the visual guide on how to cook the okonomiyaki mix.

The instructions on how to cook the okonomiyaki mix are as follows:

dohtonbori greenhills san juan japanese restaurant manila

Suji-gyu Okonomiyaki Mix

1. Put enough oil to thinly cover the teppan so the okonomiyaki won’t stick. Mix all okonomiyaki ingredients inside the bowl with wooden spoon.
2. Pour the okonomiyaki mixture onto the teppan. Shape it like a pancake with the same diameter as the bowl. Note: Do not FLIP or PRESS the okonomiyaki.

dohtonbori greenhills san juan japanese restaurant manila

First Photo: During our second visit, we ordered the Three-Meat Okonomiyaki Mix and the Umigo Mix. Second Photo: Flipping the okonomiyaki without breaking them is the challenge!

3.  After 5 minutes, flip the okonomiyaki using the 2 turners meeting at the center to avoid breaking it into half. Cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Flip the okonomiyaki once more, and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. For the last time, flip your okonomiyaki, then brush it with okonomiyaki sauce found at the far end of your table.
6. Optional: Put Ao Nori (shredded nori) and Bonito powder on top.

dohtonbori greenhills san juan japanese restaurant manila

The joy in dining at Dohtonbori lies in being able to create your very own Okonomiyaki creation. There are a lot of okonomiyaki variants to choose from, too, making sure that they have something for everyone. They also have rice meals and non-okonomiyaki dishes in case you’re not up for waiting and preparing your own meal. Most importantly, the okonomiyaki tasted delicious, as the management has ensured with the combination of the  freshest ingredients and the correct okonomiyaki cooking formula. If there’s one thing I wish I knew coming in, it’s that I wish I knew better than to go crazy with the Japanese mayo! It turns everything it comes in contact with ten times more flavorful, but it also gets you full really quickly. I probably would have enjoyed my okonomiyaki more if I didn’t put liberal amounts of jap mayo on it.

dohtonbori greenhills san juan japanese restaurant manila

Service was a little slow than expected. They were hardly understaffed, and had enough people going around, not to mention that they’re spared from a bulk of the cooking work since customers cook their okonomiyaki themselves. Despite this, ingredients take long to be served, and payments take a while to be processed. I did find the staff very polite and courteous.

If you come in early and you have the choice of where to be seated, choose to dine in the tatami mat room, where you can sit on the floor with your legs crossed or folded. The ambience inside the tatami mat room will allow you to feel more at home. Be informed that you’ll have to take off your shoes and put it inside the lockers provided for safekeeping.

dohtonbori greenhills san juan japanese restaurant manila

I highly recommend Dohtonbori Philippines to those who love okonomiyaki, as well as to those who are curious about what a Japanese pizza/ pancake tastes like. Dohtonbori Philippines is conveniently located along Missouri Street at North East Greenhills, just behind the Promenade Mall. They have also very recently opened their second branch at SM North EDSA, on the Upper Ground Floor of the main mall, just right across National Bookstore. The price range for two people is around Php 500-Php 900, and the servings are huge and satisfying.

Will you be checking out Dohtonbori Greenhills soon? Let me know in the comments section below!-HANA

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