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New okonomiyaki and izakaya nightspot for vegans in Hiroshima

Vegan’s now have a place where they can enjoy authentic local nightlife in Hiroshima AND eat their fill of okonomiyaki and more!

Hiroshima isn’t the most well-endowed of Japan’s cities when it comes to vegan dining options. Although Croissant Marche serves delicious homestyle macrobiotic lunches, Taiko Udon has a vegan soup stock option, Kissa Saeki cooks up healthy animal free burgers and Nagata-ya offers an impressive vegan okonomiyaki, after the sun goes down, the city’s fun izakaya scene is mostly off-limits. That is, until now.

Jirokichi, a little okonomiyaki and teppanyaki izakaya run by the affable Fukui-san in the center of Hiroshima city, has spent the past 6 months working on a vegan menu that will allow non-meat eaters to enjoy food and drinks alongside his loyal local customers.

Thanks to Fukui-san’s ability to think outside the box, a desire to share local food culture with a diverse range of customers, as well as an eye for an expanding market as the inbound tourists are once more allowed back into Japan after the pandemic, Jirokichi now offers one of the city’s biggest vegan menus, kicking off with 13 dishes. After working with with vegan food consultants Inbound Ambassador and JizoHat, Fukui-san is now the second place in Hiroshima city to offer a guaranteed vegan okonomiyaki.

Vegan Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki
Vegan Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki

Jirokichi’s animal-free take on Hiroshima’s soul food uses thicker dairy-free udon noodles with the addition of Japanese shiso leaf packing a flavor punch. You can choose to spice things up with the colorful option of red chili ramen noodles (which happen to be vegan).

By using a non-dairy “egg” product he has also developed a vegan version of his signature Jirokichi Roll, a kind of omelette stuffed with noodles, veggies, topped off with creamy vegan cheese and mayonnaise.

Vegan Jirokichi Roll
Vegan Jirokichi Okonomiyaki Roll

Vegan egg, cheese and mayonnaise substitutes still come at a premium, so the vegan roll is more expensive than the standard version, but we highly recommend this serving of gooey deliciousness.

If you are trying to cut down on your noodle intake, opt for Jirokichi’s vegan nira-tama-moyashi, Chinese chives and beansprouts fried up with egg substitute that goes really well with an order of vegan garlicky potatoes. Vegetable dishes include eggplant and ponzu topped with vegan cheese, mushrooms steamed in foil as well as teppan menu regulars edamame, chilled tomato slices, tofu and lotus root, asparagus and shiitake mushrooms sautéed in olive oil. A nice addition is vegan ice cream for those with a sweet tooth to round things off. All menu items are clearly labeled and vegan customers can rest assured that Fujii-san has done his homework and order with confidence.

Eggplant with ponzu sauce
Eggplant with ponzu sauce

Thanks for Fukui-san’s willingness to try something new, vegan residents and visitors now have a place were they can enjoy an authentic local nightlife over drinks AND enjoy the rare pleasure of being spoilt for choice.

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