Friday, August 24, 2012

Classic Japanese Snacks of Takoyaki and Okonomiyaki at Otafuku

The New York City food scene has a distinct dichotomy. On one hand, there are premier luxury restaurants like Per Se, Le Bernardin,  and Morimoto. On the other hand, there are cheap eateries and hole in the wall (quite literally). One such place is Otafuku, a Japanese eatery in East Village.

Otafuku, albeit a Japanese restaurant, doesn't serve any sushi. Instead, it specializes in takoyaki, which are bite-sized baked octopus balls. My friend and I decided to share Combination B ($9), a mix of takoyaki and okonomiyaki, or Japanese-style cabbage pancakes.

The eatery is so small that you can't even wait inside for your food, but have to step outside. I'm sure the sales plummet during the winter and when it rains...After waiting for about 10 minutes, our order came out. The girl behind the counter drizzled the takoyaki with mayonnaise, sweet sauce, and some green powder, as well as bonito flakes.

There were six takoyakis that were about the size of golf balls. I asked the person to not put mayonnaise on my balls (haha). I am not quite sure what the green stuff certainly didn't add much flavor.

Even though the balls are bite-sized, I ate them in two bites. Because these treats are baked in something similar to a waffle maker instead of fried, the outside wasn't too greasy. The batter might have been a little undercooked, however.

There was an octopus inside the takoyaki. I wasn't too fond of the three textures of chewy octopus, crispy outside, and mushy inside. I was fine after eating just three of these, but if I were to eat the entire plate, my stomach would have hurt a lot. I don't have any pictures of the okonomiyaki, but with no regret because it tasted awful. The cabbage pancake was way undercooked, so I felt like I was just eating the batter. Yuck.

  Otafuku on Urbanspoon

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