Today I finally got to try Tenya, a famous restaurant in Taiwan that specializes in okonomiyaki, monjayaki, and modanyaki. I have been eyeing this place since last summer, but there was always a long line-up whenever I wanted to go, and the Taipei Main Station location does not take reservations. I thought that going on a Thursday at noon would make a difference, but I still had to wait 20 minutes for a table.
For those who didn’t want to wait, Tenya also offers a takeout counter, but they only do takoyaki and taiyaki takeouts. Takoyaki flavours are all savory and range from the original octopus flavour to fish roe with mayo. Taiyaki flavours are all sweet and include interesting flavours such as red bean mochi and banana custard.
The menu was a bit overwhelming at first because there are so many options to choose from. I didn’t really understand the difference between an okonomiyaki and a modanyaki, but the server was nice enough to explain the difference to me. She explained that the modanyaki has noodles and has 2 eggs, whereas the okonomiyaki has no noodles and only has 1 egg. In the end I went for the pork and cheese modanyaki, MilkTea went for a “rice-yaki” (rice version of okonomiyaki), and SC ordered a corn/kelp salad and a banana crepe.
The corn and kelp salad was the first to arrive:
This salad consisted of shredded cabbage, kelp, canned corn, and some mayo. It wasn’t too exciting and I would definitely not recommend it to those who are thinking to visiting tenya. There are much better things here than this salad.
Next up, my pork and cheese modanyaki. Now I know why this place always has a line-up; they make almost all of their hot orders on the spot, right in front of your eyes. Here’s how they made my modanyaki:
The size of this modanyaki can serve one if that person wasn’t ordering anything else. The noodles and the cheese were what made me really love this modanyaki. It was crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and extremely flavourful. I couldn’t really taste the pork because there wasn’t much to begin with, and the okonomiyaki sauce and mayo tasted really strong, so it may not be a good choice for you if you need your meat. However, it was a delightful experience watching them make this modanyaki and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
MilkTea’s Okonomiyaki was made with rice instead of the traditional shredded cabbage, and after being heated on the grill, it was nice and crispy. This rice okonomiyaki tasted kind of like the Korean Bibimbap. Just don’t forget to remove it from the heat shortly after it’s made – otherwise the rice at the bottom will get burned!
Last but not least is the banana crepe:
The banana crepe was also made fresh! I’m not sure how this one tasted but SC enjoyed it, and the table next to us also ordered this.
At first I thought Tenya was DIY okonomiyaki, but I’m glad they made it for us in the end because it saved time and it was very professionally done. I would definitely go back for more, maybe try the monjayaki?