Aug. 15 - First Sushi and then Ramen, what's the next big thing for Japanese food in New York? Kyoko Gasha reports.
New Yorkers are always on the run, and lunch time is no exception. But now, in Midtown, Manhattan, there is something tempting even the busiest New Yorkers to slow down. Opened only 7 weeks ago on 48th street between Parkand Lexington Avenue, Okadaman is a new addition to New York City's diverse food truck scene. What they are cooking is called, Okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki translates to on the grill to your liking. This style of cooking is popular in Osaka, Japan and now is being introduced to New York by Jan Albert, a New Yorker from the Czech Republic. SOUNDBITE: (English) Jan Albert, the owner of Okadaman, saying "One evening, we are having, my family, my wife and my son are having a dinner in the middle of Osaka and then I tasted this delicious Okonomiyaki there, and basically I could not find the same great taste and ingredients in New York that's why we decided to bring it to New York, here. To bring the authenticity just like you would have it exactly in the middle of Osaka to have it in the middle of New York City." Many of his new customers have discovered Okadaman online. SOUNDBITE: (English) Jessica, Food truck customer, saying "I love Japanese food and I saw online that they had some snacks so I decided to check it out. SOUNDBITE: (English) Brian, Food truck customer, saying "I have a food truck app on my iphone and I have been trying all kinds of food trucks close by and I like Japanese foods so I try this one" With many of today's food trucks offering Asian food options, the competition is fierce. But Mr. Albert is confident. SOUNDBITE: (English) Jan Albert, the owner of Okadaman ,saying "I believe there is a room for all of us. If we stick to the right recipes and formula and right philosophy, fresh authentic great tasting recipes we all have the customers " Just as the Okonomiyaki pancakes expand during the cooking process, Mr. Albert has plans to expand his Okadaman business. SOUNDBITE: (English) Jan Albert, the owner of Okadaman ,saying "We want to bring the real taste of Japan to New York, just like Sushi used to be 20 years ago, or Ramen used to be 10 years ago in New York City, Okonomiyaki is the next thing and we are the first one to introduce it." Next big thing or not, for now, New Yorkers are enjoying a taste of pancake panacea. Kyoko Gasha for Reuters.