Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development




By Elyse Glickman
June 14, 2022

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Mike Morales

Mike Morales

Sunda New Asian’s Michael Morales, Executive Chef/Partner, has landed on an inventive way to translate okonomiyaki, improving exploration and acceptance of this beloved Japanese comfort food among less-adventurous diners. The Okonomiyaki Waffle forsakes the conventional pancake format while keeping other traditional flavor elements intact.

Morales cleverly swaps the original foundation with waffle batter, blending in classic okonomiyaki ingredients, including cabbage, sweet tonkatsu sauce, Kewpie mayo, bonito fish flakes and pickled ginger. “The kicker is the crunch from the cabbage that is cooked inside the waffle batter,” says Morales. The result is a more approachable format that delivers a delightfully rich amalgam of crunch and softness, along with both sweet and savory flavors.

The dish is found exclusively on the restaurant’s “Bar Bites” menu for Happy Hour. “I like the idea of a waffle any time of day,” says Morales. “Plus it pairs well with a beer or a cocktail. It is an exciting new experience for our guests.”


About The Author

Elyse Glickman

Elyse Glickman has an extensive food and beverage journalism resume encompassing reviews, chef profiles, trends, recipes and other topics for publications and websites in the U.S. and abroad. For more than a decade, she covered the Los Angeles dining scene as a senior food editor for “Boulevard Magazine” and “C-Suite Quarterly,” while digging deeper into wine, beverage and cocktail topics for trades such as “The Tasting Panel,” “Bar Business,” “El Restaurante.” She also has explored international restaurant and food trends for travel stories published in Roseann Tully’s “Intermezzo” and “SIP” magazines, “Taste & Travel” and “Global Traveler.” [email protected]