Wandering through the sliding screens at the lantern-lit entrance of Sometaro is akin to stepping back in time. Open since 1937, the family-run restaurant is set in a traditional wooden house only a stone’s throw from Tokyo’s oldest temple, in the old pleasure district of Asakusa. Visitors are led to low tables on tatami mat floors with faded black and white photographs covering the walls.
Specialty of the house is okonomiyaki – which involves diners cooking a batter mix of choice, omelette-style, on a hot plate built into their table. Most okonomiyaki dishes contain chopped cabbage, vegetables, meat or seafood, with one house favorite being ‘furusatoten’, a fusion of an exotic string of Japanese vegetables such as rape blossom, flowering fern and seasoned bamboo shoots.