Random thoughts on food, cooking, restaurants, food products, food literature and kitchen equipment by Bobby Jay, a retired lawyer living in New York and Paris.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Takoyaki in New York
It is no secret that I love takoyaki, a kind of omelet ball that is stuffed with a tiny piece of octopus that is found all over Japan and especially in Kyoto but that is also apparently a favorite for Japanese people to cook at home for their families. I did a post on the subject in 2011, showing our friend Hitomi Kondo going through the process. I even helped in shaping the balls. Here is the almost finished product before saucing:
Nearly finished takoyaki balls
The takoyaki that Hitomi made for us,
like every version that I have had until recently, was a firm ball with a
firm piece of octopus inside, served with bonito flakes sprinkled on
top and a special thickish sweetish sauce that resembles tonkatsu sauce. I say until recently because a couple of weeks ago I experienced a new take on takoyaki, in New York of all places.
While waiting to get into Ramen Totto (see post of earlier today), I noticed Takoyaki Bar (also run by Totto) right next door, and resolved to return as soon as possible. Which I did.
Takoyaki Bar by Totto
To my surprise, the takoyaki
here was very soft, almost impossible to hold with the traditional toothpicks they are served with, and had a very
tender morsel of octopus inside. A wonderful new (for me) take on this
iconic street dish served, as it should be, in a paper box, placed into a plastic external box.
Takoyaki Bar's takoyaki
For those squeamish about octopus (the tako in takoyaki), the restaurant makes takoyaki stuffed with bits of chicken (an oxymoron, of course). Not having any
problem with octopus, I passed on this, but it does make it easier to go
with a group, which might include octopodophobes.
This blog records my thoughts and experiences relating to cooking, eating, restaurants, food products and ingredients, kitchen equipment and other matters relating to cuisine.
I do not offer reviews of New York restaurants; there are already enough reviewers and points of view. I will, however, discuss things that I discover at restaurants that may be of interest to others. I will offer brief reviews of selected Paris restaurants, as I am often asked for suggestions by people planning trips to that marvelous and beautiful city. In particular, I report from time to time on my ongoing quest for excellent, reasonably-priced restaurants in Paris; fortunately, there are many.