We just arrived from a 4 hour flight from Manila back to Osaka. We dropped off our luggage at our 3rd , and probably my favorite hostel in Nishinari Ward called Hotel Raizan North.We left Manila early morning and we were both hungry so my wife said we should go to her favorite food court located in Hanshin Department Store near Osaka Station. She said it’s her favorite because within this food court we can find all Osaka specialties like Okonomiyaki, Takoyaki , Choboyaki, Ikayaki and of course the ubiquitous soft serve ice cream in a cone.
Unfortunately the food court was closed for renovations so we ended up looking for something to eat at the malls in between the Hilton and Osaka Station . In the same building as the Tower Records.
To my surprise we stumbled upon a Takoyaki restaurant called Takonotetsu that had the display window pictured below. It was the same restaurant where Anthony Bourdain himself made his own Takoyaki on his old show No Reservations on the Travel Channel here in the U.S.
Immediately I threw down the gauntlet and challenged my Osaka-born wife to a Takoyaki making contest. We greased up the molds and the waitress poured in the batter. A contraption was then used to drop pieces of octopus into the batter simultaneously and it was left up to us on what we add and how we shape the batter into balls.
Diners can get optional ingredients so my wife chose cheese and shiso while I opted to keep it basic. Already on the tables we had red ginger , bonito flakes , mayonnaise,green onions, takoyaki sauce and ao nori.
I was confident I could made a decent shaped takoyaki even though I’ve never really made one before and have only seen them made on tv. I think the trick is to be patient. I got better balls by rotating only about few degrees and pouring some more batter then repeat. Admittedly the waitress checked in on us once in while and tidied up our grills.
I couldn’t wait to eat one straight from the grill but suddenly I remembered the tongue-scorching experience from just a week back in Dotonbori where I put a molten-hot takoyaki ball in my mouth . These balls were smaller so the insides would cool down faster I thought to myself .
I quickly put a few on my plate,brushed them lightly with sweet and fruity takoyaki sauce, squeezed mayonnaise on them and finally topped them with bonito flakes. It was delicious . I liked it more because I only put the ingredients and toppings I wanted.
As far as who made the better Takoyaki ball I think I didn’t do that bad considering it was my first time . I did lose to my wife . But that was expected since I heard Osaka kids take a Takoyaki making class starting at kindergarten.
|Takonotetsu display window|
|Sleepy and hungry|
|Perfectly shaped tako balls covered in bonito flakes.|