I remember the first time I ate takoyaki. It was my cousin who introduced me to “samurai balls,” a nickname that unfortunately stuck for this Japanese dumpling. Watching the lady behind the counter expertly flick the takoyaki on the takoyakiki (takoyaki pan, you perv) was mesmerizing, and my first bite unto the smooshy round dumpling was unforgettable. It was very hot and the inside a bit slimy. What the hell is this thing?
Over the years though, I developed a liking for takoyaki. Made with octopus (tako), batter, pickled ginger and shrimp, and topped with fried bonito flakes, aonori (green dried seaweed), mayonnaise and takoyaki sauce, this octopus ball is certainly different from the fish balls, squid balls and chicken balls we’re used to.
Unfortunately, in Manila you’re pretty much left with no choice if you’re craving for Takoyaki. It’s either buying takoyaki from Samurai Foods or not eat takoyaki at all. There must have been a growing takoyaki following in the Philippines because a couple of takoyaki kioks have sprouted in Manila. One of these was Japsy’s Takoyaki.
A huge takoyaki craving and curiosity to try this new stall prompted me, Ryan and Yue to each order a 3-piece tray of takoyaki. We weren’t really expecting much, but we were pleasantly surprised. Well, me and Yue anyway. Ryan found their sauce too sour, while Yue (who’s Japanese and has been living in the Philippines for several years) exclaims that it was indeed good. She further elaborates that though the sauce wasn’t perfect, the takoyaki itself tasted great. As for me, I’m happy to get my takoyaki fix; Japsy’s Takoyaki was definitely much better than the other takoyaki stall.
Japsy’s Takoyaki Express can be found outside the Plaza Fair entrance of the Makati Cinema Square. It’s right across Yamazaki, the Japanese supermarket in Little Tokyo. The 3-piece takoyaki costs Php 22, while the 5-pieces costs Php 35 and the 12-pieces costs Php 70.