Inside Harajuku | All The Deets

By Mallika Dabke September 3, 2018
Trying out Taiyaki, fish-shaped Japanese waffles at Harajuku.

Japan’s Harajuku area has a unique spot in pop culture for its eyebrow raising fashion. Very different from western cultural influences that we’re so used to, Harajuku is a brand of its own. Taking inspiration from this quirky land, is Bandra’s newest eatery: Harajuku.

A small spot that can seat no more than eight, Harajuku brings a piece of Japan to Mumbai. Colourful doodles, neon light signs and their funky menu truly make this eatery super kawaii. Their menu features sweet and savoury crepes, dorayaki (pancakes) and taiyaki waffles. While they have simple options like chocolate crepes or pancakes with maple syrup under each section, it’s their more unique dishes that I recommend you try.

Matcha Crepe - Harajuku

Matcha Crepe at Harajuku

First, my companion and I had their Matcha Crepe, which was stuffed with vanilla cake crumble, a strawberry compote, Oreos, dark chocolate syrup, whipped cream and matcha ice cream. So many elements went into making this crepe, it was quite a journey going through all the different flavours and textures that came together. If you haven’t had matcha before and want to give it a shot, this crepe is a great introduction to its bitter flavour profile, because of the sweetness from the other ingredients.  

The second crepe we tried was the Shrimp Okonomiyaki. The okonomiyaki is an Insta-worthy dish wherein chefs make super fluffy omelets on top of crepes, and fold them together. This omelet featured small shrimp and finely chopped vegetables and was drizzled with a Japanese mayonnaise which is a bit stronger and has more of a runny consistency that your regular mayo, topped with a special Okonomiyaki sauce. I really enjoyed this dish because although the flavours weren’t totally new to me, it was a brand-new form of food to chow down on. Both the crepes were very large and heavy, and can make for a person’s entire meal.

Next, we had their famous Taiyaki, which is the Japanese version of a waffle that comes in the shape of a fish and is stuffed with different components. We went with the recommended Japanese Affair. This fish shaped waffle which is harder than a regular waffle, was stuffed with custard, red velvet cake pieces, a black sesame seed ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. My favourite part of this Taiyaki was the sesame seed ice cream, because savoury ice cream isn’t something you come across very often in Bombay!   

Lastly, we ended with a Matcha Affogato which featured a simple scoop of vanilla ice cream with hot matcha tea poured over. Yet another great dish to go for if you’re trying to get accustomed to the matcha bitterness, because it gets balanced out with sweet, creamy vanilla ice cream.

 

I love that Bombay’s culinary palate is constantly evolving and getting global. I definitely recommend that you visit Harajuku to try food that you may never have before! I would go back here for the crepes for when I want to grab a wholesome meal on the go. Though small, Harajuku is packed with a lot of Japanese magic that is a welcome addition to the city’s dining scene.