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Step Up to the Plate

Takoyaki Yama-chan

By Lynsey Beth Futa Photos By Bodie Collins
April 19, 2015

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A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL: Regular Takoyaki ($4.50-$9.80)

The sound of drums ring out as a display of colorfully round edibles cook on a hot iron griddle. Each savory pancake-like morsel is turned over in a split-second under fast and skilled hands — a treat for the eyes as well as the stomach. The Osaka-original street food known as takoyaki, has become an island favorite, since sharing this treat with patrons around the world at its original booth in Ala Moana Center’s Shirokiya nearly eight years ago. Takoyaki Yama-chan serves takoyaki in many varieties, including Negi-Mayo Ponzu, Cheese takoyaki and Kimchi takoyaki.

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The bite-sized, doughy edibles are made of flour, egg, Japanese dashi and yam. When fried on the teppan grill, the exterior becomes a golden crunchy shell.

Nestled within each piece of takoyaki is a superlative bite of tako (octopus), enhancing the treat with a burst of texture and flavor.

Slices of red ginger, green onion and crunchy tempura batter are infused into the doughy mixture. These garnishes also are placed atop the takoyaki, along with nori and bonito flakes.

Creamy Japanese mayonnise and tonkatsu sauce — a Japanese-style worcestershire sauce — ooze the surface of these pillowy confections.

Owner Akimune Yamamoto says that it takes at least six months to attain the necessary skills to properly prepare and cook takoyaki. Yamamoto also reveals that the best thing to pair with takoyaki is a nice, chilled beer.

Takoyaki Yama-chan

Don Quijote
801 Kaheka St., Honolulu
Daily, 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m.