Monday, January 30, 2012

Takoyaki Museum?????

When I found out we were going to Universal Studios in Osaka, I knew I HAD to go to the Takoyaki Museum this time. I have been to Universal Studios once before and I have been to Universal City Walk a couple of times, but I was never able to go to the Takoyaki Museum. This time I was going!

I only knew about the Takoyaki Museum because I saw the sign for it the first time I went to Universal Studios. I had no idea what it was, but I imagined it to be this really cool place with the history of the Takoyaki and maybe some Takoyaki diplays. Or maybe some photos of famous people eating Takoyaki at their favorite Takoyaki place. And then a little Takoyaki gift shop to top it all off!

Well, before I left for Osaka I did a little research and's only kind of a museum. It's an area where there are about 5 or 6 Takoyaki stands. I was a little disappointed....just a little. I was still going to eat some different Takoyaki!!

Okay. Some of you might be asking yourself, "what in the world is Takoyaki??"
"Tako" means octopus....and "yaki" means fried or cooked. Takoyaki is a doughy ball with a chunk of octopus in the middle. Once it is cooked, sauce is drizzled on it. Some other toppings include, mayonnaise and bonito flakes and seaweed flakes. I like it all!!

So, we get to our hotel (which was fantastic!) by Universal City walk and by the time we got all settled in, it was just too late to go. So we hopped on a train and went exploring instead! I love exploring!! Our plan was to spend the next day in Universal Studios. We spent about four hours in the park (it was a little busy) and then decided to take a break and come back. I grabbed my big camera and we headed over to the Takoyaki Museum. I was starving so this was PERFECT!!

This was the first thing I saw when we found it. It's on the second floor of the Universal City Walk.

We went in and walked around. It's not very big. There are about 5 or 6 little Takoyaki restaurants inside. We decided to walk by all of them and check them all out before we picked one to try out. The very last one we stopped by looked very interesting. The Takoyaki looked crunchy. Hmmm.....and on the menu they had some that were just "salted" and some that had the traditional sauce on them. I think we found our first spot to try! We ordered the "half and half" which was just half salted and half with sauce.

It wasn't very long before they brought this to us.....I couldn't wait to dig in!

It was hard to say which ones were my favorite. I really liked the "salted" ones. I've never had them like that before. I've always had the traditional sauce and bonito flakes and seaweed......and sometimes mayonnaise. I really liked the crunchy texture of the Takoyaki at this place. They also got a thumbs up from Jason! He doesn't mind Takoyaki, but they are not his favorite so that is saying a lot.

After we finished up, we walked around and looked at the other shops. I really believe that if there is a line at a restaurant, that is usually a good sign that the food is yummy. So, we picked the one with the longest line. As we were standing in line, I glanced up and I saw a sign that said "moch and cheese" (in Japanese of course).

What?!?! Mochi and cheese takoyaki?!?! REALLY???? Jason had gone to get an English menu from them, but I already knew what I wanted. I wanted that mochi and cheese takoyaki. In case you were wondering, mochi is just pounded rice. It's so good. I am a big fan of mochi and I am a big fan of cheese. We decided on a sampler plate. It had three different types of takoyaki (of course the mochi and cheese takoyaki was one of them). We bought our ticket from the vending machine and handed it to the nice man behind the counter.

While we waited, we watched them make the takoyaki.

A few minutes later, we were walking to a table with our takoyaki.

I have to say the mochi cheese takoyaki was A-mazing! It also came with a takoyaki that you dipped in the soup. That was pretty tasty too.

This is the place that served the mochi cheese takoyaki!

If you want to try takoyaki, there are a couple of places in Iwakuni that sell takoyaki. Shirokiya (I did a blog post about this wonderful izakaya) serves some good takoyaki. There is also a place at YouMe Town that serves takoyaki. It's right outside of Lotteria.

Now that I've had takoyaki in Osaka though......I fear I am now a takoyaki snob! *sigh* I guess that means I need to find a great takoyaki place here in Iwakuni!

Have you tried takoyaki? What did you think?