Okonomiyaki Festival

Bar Wa Izakaya is very special mid-town eatery. Self-described as where the best of Hobart and Tokyo meets, this Japanese gastro-pub has got it going on.

This Girl is enamoured with its beautiful interior. When I say it’s cosy I mean it’s warm and comforting. Come in, it’s a space that puts it arms around you. The sake bottles hanging from the ceiling are a wonderful embellishment and eating at the bar feels authentic and relaxed.

Their menu is substantial and you’ll find many of the Japanese dishes you would be looking for using local fare wherever possible. They’ve been evolving their offerings with an array of ramen now available for lunches. An addition made in response to growing requests for the slurp-alicious dish.

It was the okonomiyaki festival that caught my eye though.

Okonomiyaki means what you like cooked. Ba Wa Izakaya obviously put their mind to this and came up with six awesome flavours served over six weeks.

Have you ever noticed how good other people’s lunches smell? I share an office with Ms Bojangles. Her lunches are generally off the scale. It’s made worse by the fact that she eats at around 11.30 am when I’m trying to pace myself with thoughts of my stomach rumbling by 4 pm. Ms Bojangles went through an okonomiyaki phase. I followed suit. I’m nowhere near mastering those stacked high and loaded pancakes. In the name of research I told Ms Bojangles to get her dancing shoes on and come out for lunch. She’s a massive pork fan so week one was a no-brainer.

Tomorrow will farewell week 1’s chashu pork belly, house made kimchi and fried egg for $18.

Week 2, 12 – 18 August is Tasmanian calamari and Japanese spicy fish roe.

Week 3, 19 – 25 August is king oyster mushroom and broccolini for the vegos and veggie-lovers.

Week 4, 26 August – 1 September is prawn and edamame.

Week 5, 2 – 8 September is wagyu, wasabi mayo and aged soy sauce.

Week 6, 9 – 16 September is sticky rice and Ashgrove wasabi cheese.

Ms B went for a softie and I enjoyed the Eddystone Point unwooded Chardonnay.

We shared a plate or pork gyoza with chilli oil and dipping sauce, 5 pieces for $12 and ordered an okonomiyaki each.

I was a little troubled when our table attendant checked in, ‘Was that to share?’


‘They’re quite big,’ she said.

The truth is, they’re monsters.

We gave it our best shot but we both came away defeated.

Definitely get yourself down there to try a specialty okonomiyaki. Don’t worry about a starter or share one of these massive lunch meals.

Totally delicious.

There’s also a whole suite of ramen to work you’re way through. If you’re worried about slurping, you’re among friends. They even leave instructions.

Full menu on their webpage – Bar Wa Izakaya

Here’s our first visit – Bar Wa Izakaya

Find them at 216-218 Elizabeth Street Hobart.


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