One of the first things I looked for as soon as we landed in Osaka was takoyaki. Takoyaki are one of Osaka’s most favourite street foods. These dumplings consist of a batter with chopped octopus, pickled ginger and spring onion, topped with katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), aonori (green seaweed powder), worcestershire sauce and mayonnaise.

The cooking process is a mesmerising one. Once the batter has been poured into a takoyakiki, street vendors expertly flick the dumplings until they form into a round shape and are uniformly cooked and golden brown.

Osaka's favourite street food, takoyaki

Some stores are more popular than others and Otako is one of the most popular. Otako has a long history of serving takoyaki and the consistent queue at the stall is a testament to their reputation.

Otako
1-5-10 Dotonbori, Chuo-ku, Osaka
Phone: +81 06-6211-5223

Otako Takoyaki at Dotonbori

There’s also the Takoyaki Museum which houses a handful of stalls too. Plus there’s a neat souvenir shop for the takoyaki-obsessed (i.e. me).

Osaka Takoyaki Museum
6-2-61 Shimaya Konohana-ku, Osaka
(Just outside Universal City station)
Phone: +81 06-6464-3080

Osaka Takoyaki Museum

But after tasting half a dozen or so other takoyaki stalls, my favourite takoyaki place would have to be Takomasa. In addition to the original flavour, Takomasa’s menu features a delectable selection of other variations including curry and karaage!

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan -

We were intrigued with bottles of Ramune (Japanese lemonade), which
requires one to push in a plunger to release a glass marble and the pressure of the carbon dioxide.

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan - lemonade drink

Another brilliant Japanese invention is this Magic Five bottle which has 5 parallel holes. Endless possibilities.

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan - magic five mayonnaise bottle

Now onto what matters most – the food.

With limited Japanese, we ask which flavours are the most popular. Thankfully the waitress realises our struggle and brings out the English menu!

We start with one of the most ordered – Rice cake and cheese takoyaki (¥790 for 8 pieces). Each perfect ball holds a small cube of near-molten cheese. The texture of the batter features small bits of rice cake which adds a lovely chewiness to each bite.

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan - rice cake and cheese takoyaki, 790 yen for 8

After that, we try the original soy sauce taste takoyaki (¥720 for 8 pieces) and the kimchi takoyaki (¥790 for 8 pieces). The soy sauce dumplings are gorgeous, there’s just a really nice balance of flavours.

The kimchi takoyaki on the other hand, I absolutely LOVE! They’re a tad spicy and the distinctive sour flavour of the fermented cabbage works wonderfully in enhancing these octopus dumplings.

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan - takoyaki original soy sauce taste, 720 yen for 8 and kimchi takoyaki, 790 yen for 8

We are also advised that the green shallot variation (¥790 for 8 pieces) is a common order. The inside of these are indeed packed with finely chopped spring onion! Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of the moist filling.

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan - green onion, 790 yen for 8

So between 5 of us, we commenced our takoyaki tasting session, garnishing our takoyaki with as much topping as we desired.

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan - selection of takoyaki

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan - plate of assorted takoyaki

And once we were done, despite looking as full as full can be, the waitress smiles and introduces us to the karaage takoyaki (¥630 for 6 pieces) which wasn’t on the English menu. How can we say no to that? They’re extra crispy on the outside and moreish on the inside and is definitely the best variation yet!

Takomasa restaurant, Osaka, Japan - takoyaki karaage, 630 yen for 6

Takomasa

Dotonbori

1-chome 4-15, Chuo-ku, Osaka

Phone: +81 06-6212-3363

Web: www.takomasa.co.jp

For other branches, visit the website above

 

So leaving Japan, I desperately wanted to bring all this takoyaki-awesomeness with me. And what better way, than to bring back giant boxes of Takoyaki flavoured Pretz and my very own takoyaki machine plus accessories (yes, I’ve got the Magic Five bottle filled with Kewpie Mayonnaise in my fridge right now)! Oh, happy days.

Takoyaki Pretzi

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • I’ve been to that Takoyaki stand (Otako) in Osaka! Apparently it’s the best in the area; makes me so hungry thinking about it 🙁 wish I was in Japan again!

  • Oh oh, so many golden balls of deliciousness! And love how the Japanese turn every popular food into snack food flavours, be it potato chips or biscuts =p

  • Oooooh takoyaki! You’re making me so hungry!
    My Dad has one of those takoyaki grill things at home but he never makes them. FOR SHAME.

  • Too awesome Jen! That museum looks cool! Did you get any thing?

  • Jen

    Three large bags full of souvenirs, including the cutest takoyaki cushion ever!

  • Jen

    At least you’ll have access to one; perhaps you can make them for him so it rekindles his love for takoyaki! 😛

  • Jen

    OMGosh, LOVE Japanese snack foods too! Street food vs packaged snack food – i can’t decide which I love more!

  • Jen

    Same here – wish I was in Japan again!

  • I LOVED watching the takoyaki vendors ‘do their thing’! So efficient and speedy!

  • Oh takoyaki cravings…! They have that Ramune at Kura in Chinatown 🙂 I prefer Schweppes…

  • Awww love takoyaki! Haha never really thought they came in all different flavours! Nom!

  • Mark Eggins

    Hey great blog – I like the way you have lots of cool pix and not too much text!