Written and pics by Colin Brown Translated by Ann Lee
157, ZiYou 2nd Rd, ZuoYing District
Hours: 11:30 am-3 pm, 5:30-8 pm
Credit cards not accepted.
No service charge.
Chinese, English and Japanese menu.
After starting out as a small food cart in the Rey Fong Night Market, Jason, the owner of Sengetsu, has enjoyed seeing his customers return again and again for his delicious Hiroshima "Japanese Pancakes". After two years of business, he decided to open a larger shop where old friends and customers could visit, rain or shine. A true entrepreneur, Jason makes all of his ingredients from scratch. He even hand-made the bamboo place mats and many of the various fixtures throughout the restaurant.
Jason cooks in the Japanese fashion; he uses a 'Yaki,' (meaning 'grill'), which he lights up right in front of you. And whether you speak Chinese, English, or Japanese, he'll be able to take your order. Jason went to Japan to study Japanese traditional culinary arts on two occasions and has brought Japanese cooking from Osaka and Hiroshima right into Kaohsiung.
Sengetsu's Okonomiaki, or Japanese Style Fried Noodles (NT$190) is made fresh. It starts off with handmade pancake batter that's fried on an open grill and then mixed with egg, vegetables, and fried noodles. Everything stays on the grill, so it's hot until the moment it's on your plate. You can enjoy it plain or add some spices and Japanese mayonnaise, or top it off with some paper-thin sliced fish flakes; it's also served with hot tea, Japanese soup, and some green beans. This egg roll with fried noodles is the "Burrito of the East", but instead of pizza style, it's served like a wrap. You can have it stuffed with steak and cheese or a range of different ingredients to suit your mood.
Jason misses the hustle and bustle of the Rey Fong Night Market, but enjoys the serenity and peacefulness of his quiet little Japanese pancake shop. He still has his traditional wooden food cart at the back of his restaurant, though, if only for nostalgic value.