Okonomiyaki @ Abeno Too

Okonomiyaki is a Japanese speciality dish best described as a savoury pancake mixed with a pizza. Traditionally you cook it in front of yourself on a hot teppanyaki grill and even though the base typically includes cabbage, flour, egg and water, you can put pretty much anything else into, or on top of it. Abeno, located closest to the British Museum, is the only place I know of in London that serves this Japanese speciality. They also have a second store aptly name Abeno Too (the latter word meaning the equivalent of ‘also’ or ‘as well’ in Japanese).


I have eaten at both of these places and both are quite good. The clean and smooth table tops and real Japanese attendants indicate that they will serve you good quality Japanese food (appropriately Westernised for taste). Its prices are decent although typical for what you pay for Japanese in London and any of the super-deluxe okonomiyaki mixes are good value for money. Both of these places are small, so I recommend you make reservations for dinner or lunch if you intend to go on busy day or night like Friday or Saturday.

The two times that I have eaten there, the service has been good although I have heard it gets more difficult if you are eating at peak times. The staff speak to you in polite and soft tones and can explain the concept if you are new to okonomiyaki. Staff will cook the food on the grill in front of you and finish it off in the traditional manner topping it with okonomiyaki sauce, mayonnaise, seaweed flakes and bonito flakes that dance entertainingly from the heat off the hotplate. You then use mini spatulas to take pieces off the grill to your plate you can then liberally douse it in additional sauces (I highly recommend the hot sauce) for additional flavour.

Details: Abeno (7 Museum Street, Bloomsbury, WC1A 1LY) or Abeno Too (7-19 Great Newport St, WC2H 7JE)
Highlights: Okonomiyaki has strong layers of flavour and there’s nothing like eating off a hot grill.
Room for improvement: The premises are quite small and can be crowded
The Kua Rating: 7 out of 10

7 Replies to “Okonomiyaki @ Abeno Too”

  1. I’ve been meaning to go to on or the other of these places for a while now; I love okonomiyaki, and haven’t had it since coming to London. I think you’ve inspired me to get myself over there in the next couple days…

  2. Okonomiyaki is great – if you do make it there, let me know how you foudn it. It’d be great to get someone else’s opinion.

  3. Me and my dad went to abeno too not really sure what to expect but the whole experience in the restaurant was amazing, so amazing that we just had to go back. The okonomiyaki was so good, especially the london mix. We where both fascinated by how the fish flakes on the top looked like they where dancing in the heat.

  4. I’ve just discovered okonomiyaki at the fantastic Japanese Pancake World in Amsterdam. I really can’t recommend that place enough.
    I’m looking forward to trying it at Abeno when I get to London. Yum yum!

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