Osaka During Japan’s Rapid Economic Growth
Osaka made an amazingly speedy recovery from the devastation and confusion left by the war, leading the Japanese economy to regain strength and take the position as the second largest GNP country in the world.
With growing significance of Japan as the second largest economic nation, Suita, Osaka was chosen as the site for the 1970 World Exposition. The main theme of the Expo was “Progress and Harmony for Mankind”.
Rapid Economic Growth and Okosoba® (Modernyaki)
Overcoming the postwar chaos, the Japanese economy marked rapid growth and entered a period of high economic growth. And it is during this era when the Japanese economy was thriving that the Okosoba® (modernyaki) was born. To revive the cities and industries that were destroyed by the war, the people united and worked day and night to reconstruct the economy. With many of the workers being young, inexpensive food with substantial volume was high in demand. To meet these customers needs, BOTEYA® Group also developed new menu items. Inspired by the boarding food provided to our employees at the time, we came up with the Okosoba® (modernyaki), which consolidated both okonomiyaki and yakisoba into one dish. This new dish quickly became popular and spread throughout Osaka. Today, the Okosoba® (modernyaki) continues to be extremely popular as a Gotochi (local) gourmet food representing Osaka.
Meeting Global Needs
Japanese food has been recognized by the world as a sophisticated cuisine.
There are many distinctive features of Japanese cuisine such as “the quality of the ingredients”, “healthiness”, “beautiful presentation” and “hospitality”. Japanese food has become popular around the world as people appreciate these qualities.
Japanese food is an important part of our culture that represents the long history of our country.
Unfortunately, however, there are many restaurants that are offering “Japanese-style” food that is not authentic Japanese cooking. It is our hope to deliver “Authentic Japanese Taste” to as many people as possible by aggressively opening branches in Thailand.
Introducing Japanese Soul Food to the World
In countries abroad, there is a preconception that Japanese cuisine is a luxury food enjoyed only by the handful of wealthy people.
This is not true. There are many soul foods from different regions throughout Japan that are loved by the local people. Many of these foods are casual and simple and are eaten on a daily basis.
Today, Japanese soul foods, such as ramen, are being noticed and attracting attention.
Dishes that retain the qualities of Japanese food, and yet are inexpensive, are widely accepted. Such dishes in this category can be enjoyed on a daily basis, and thus there is a wide market.
The menu items offered at BOTEYA® also fit into this category of food. With this, we believe there is real potential for our restaurant to grow drastically in the coming years.
What is Okosoba® (Modernyaki)?
Okosoba® (modernyaki) is a local specialty of Osaka that combines okonomiyaki and yakisoba, a concept that was designed by BOTEYA® Group, allowing you to enjoy the delicious flavors of both in this one dish. Only Kansai people, known for their mercantile spirit, could have thought up of such an efficient and practical food.
Beginning of Okosoba® (Modernyaki)
Okosoba® (modernyaki) emerged during Japan’s rapid period of economic growth after World War II. During this time, our chefs needed to be creative and come up with filling meals for the boarding employees using the ingredients available to them in the restaurant. The Okosoba® (modernyaki) started out as a boarding food served only to the employees, but after many trials and errors, it evolved to a level where it could be served to customers. It was immediately well received by our customers, and in no time became a popular food in Osaka.
BOTEYA® ’s Okosoba® (Modernyaki)
BOTEYA®’s Okosoba® (modernyaki) is a well-balanced, hearty dish having thick yakisoba noodles and tons of cabbage sandwiched between our original batter pancake and fried egg. It is flavored with our pride salty-sweet sauce, mild white mayonnaise and Japanese mustard. It is healthy with lots of cabbage, hearty with lots of ingredients and reasonably priced, making this value-for-money dish one of our popular menu items.
The Secret Behind the Name
Okosoba® (modernyaki) originated in Osaka during Japan’s period of rapid economic growth. As the word implies, Okosoba® (modernyaki) is “modern” and the use of katakana in the Japanese spelling gives it a “fashionable” image. There is also another hidden meaning behind this coined word. It also plays a pun on the Japanese term “moridakusan” which refers to the variety of ingredients in Okosoba® (modernyaki), an Osaka twist to the name. In this way, the naming of Okosoba® (modernyaki) reflects how this dish was invented to match the needs of the era when the Japanese economy was growing at a rapid speed.
What is Yakisoba?
Yakisoba is a Japanese stir-fried noodle dish using Chinese noodles and arranged in various ways.
Yakisoba is prepared by stir-frying meat, such as pork, and vegetables, such as cabbage and bean sprouts, together with boiled noodles and flavoring it with a special sauce and spices.
Origin of Yakisoba
Yakisoba is believed to have originated during the food shortage period immediately after the end of World War II. Cabbage, a relatively accessible ingredient at the time, was added to increase the volume of the dish, but the water from the cabbage diluted the taste. Worcestershire sauce was then used to balance out the flavor. Today, yakisoba is a popular soul food that can be found anywhere in the country and is enjoyed by the Japanese people on a regular basis. Yakisoba has become an indispensible food item in Japanese lifestyle. In addition to chilled, frozen, instant, ready-to-eat products for the household, one can enjoy yakisoba at festivals and events and barbeques. There are many local specialty yakisoba being promoted as a Gotochi Gourmet food that uses different ingredients, cooking methods and flavors depending on the region.
BOTEYA®’s yakisoba is a standard menu item that we have had since our establishment. It is prepared on the teppan grill by our professional chefs by mixing our original thick, chewy egg noodles with a selection of ingredients and flavored with a blend of our special sauces. The exquisite combination of our pride sauce and thick, chewy egg noodles is an experience that can only be enjoyed at our restaurant. We also offer Omusoba, a popular Osaka local specialty that wraps our pride yakisoba in a soft omelet. A true gem on our menu, this dish offers satisfying flavor, texture and volume.
Secret of BOTEYA®’s Thick Chewy Egg Noodles
The thick, fully-matured egg noodles used in our yakisoba allows the noodles to absorb flavor, thereby adding depth to the overall taste while retaining the chewy texture. The special thick noodles only available at BOTEYA® are a perfect match with the sauce flavor and add volume to the dish.
The Strength of the BOTEYA® Brand
Appealing to the Five Senses, Live Performance and Sizzling Sound
We utilize our product features to stimulate the five senses by highlighting the live cooking performance and the accompanying sizzling sound. This raises consumer appetite to buy our product, and in turn we are able secure a high rate of satisfied customer retention.
＜Sound : Sense of Hearing＞
Attract Interest with the Sizzling Sound
The sizzling sound when cooking food on the hot teppan grill is very effective in attracting customer interest.
＜Aroma : Sense of Smell＞
Entice Appetite with Aroma
The smell emitted by food cooking on the teppan and charcoal grill will further entice the hungry customer’s appetite. This is an important factor leading to getting orders.
＜Technique: Sense of Sight＞
Attracting Interest with Performance
By showing our cooking technique in front of customers, the performance provides entertainment that attracts customers.
＜Taste : Sense of Taste＞
Healthy and Satisfying Taste
We stimulate the customer’s sense of taste by providing authentic taste of Japanese soul foods, such as okosoba® (modernyaki), yakisoba and donburi that are prepared using specially selected ingredients.
The specialty store which local gourmets of the whole country gathered.
The BOTEYA® restaurant offers local specialty dishes from all over Japan. This was made possible with the help of restaurants and the respective accrediting associations. This restaurant brand offers a extensive selection of local specialty foods that up until now could only be enjoyed in their hometowns, including teppanyaki dishes such as noodles and flour food as well as fried items.
BOTEYA® Group is committed to introducing Osaka local specialty food to countries abroad as well as supporting the revitalization of Local Specialties (Gotochi) from other regions throughout Japan.
Local Specialty (Gotochi) Gourmet Food and Regional Revitalization
BOTEYA® has been instrumental in spreading and establishing the Japanese Worcestershire sauce cuisine, a local specialty of Osaka. With hopes of having as many people enjoy the taste of Osaka, we have opened branches in shopping centers and malls that are readily accessed by many people. However, this process has not been without its share of obstacles.
As the popularity of Osaka local specialty cuisine grew, businesses focused on short-term profits began to open up restaurants having no knowledge of how to make real Osaka local specialty cuisine or would sell imitations of Osaka local specialty cuisine. This made it difficult for people to eat authentic Osaka local specialty cuisine and lead to misunderstandings as to the true quality of the food.
As in Osaka, there are many regions throughout Japan that have Local Specialty Cuisine that are loved by the local people.
Because of this experience, we at BOTEYA® Group are very particular about and have pride in our authentic Japanese Local Cuisine.
History of Oita Karaage
The Oita Karaage is believed to have originated after WWII when repatriates returned to Japan from Manchuria and recreated how chicken was eaten in China. At that time, many poultry farms were built in Oita based on the government’s policy, which made chicken a very accessible food. Many delicatessens sold freshly-fried chicken and eventually restaurants started to offer this popular item as well. As many karaage specialty shops compete ruthlessly in Oita city, the Oita Karaage has been introduced by the media on numerous occasions.
What is Tokachi Pork Rice Bowl?
Benzo Yoda, the pioneer of Tokachi, Hokkaido, once wrote in his poem, “cultivation starts with a pig and a single pot”. As evident from this phrase, the relationship between Tokachi and pigs has been longstanding and has become indispensible to the daily lives of the people. The Butadon or pork bowl is a local specialty of Obihiro in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido consisting of a bowl of rice topped with pork simmered in a mildly sweet sauce. Shuji Abe, an owner of a western restaurant, first created the Butadon in 1933.
This pork rice bowl, which used locally bred pork, was derived as a Tokachi specialty to provide accessible food for everyone and to kept them warm during Tokachi’s cold weather season. When researching “what kind of flavor would be palatable to the mass”, they decided to use a soy sauce base as it was close to the popular “Unadon (eel rice bowl)” taste that Japanese people love so much. Soon, the popularity of the pork rice bowl spread and restaurants in Tokachi began to offer their unique version of the dish. This is how the Butadon became a local specialty of Tokachi and it is now attracting attention nationwide.