Madly delicious takoyaki@Gindaco, Harajuku

One of the must-eats in Harajuku, as well as in Japan itself is..Takoyaki, gooey octopus balls! I rarely had a good eating experience with most Takoyaki stalls in Malaysia.

But after coming across Gindaco by chance while we ventured about the Harajuku area, I’d thought I’d give this a try, seeing many people reviewed about this place favourably. There was already a long queue when I arrived. It was easily a good 10 over persons leading in queue prior to my turn.

The wait took a good 20 minutes or so. A wee tad too long for Takoyaki. My patience could have gone real thin. Thank goodness that the working area was visible to patrons and while waiting, I had a good look over how they cooked the the balls and these guys were very serious about ensuring their Takoyakis were cooked to perfection.

Finally my turn came! Nearly 30 minutes wait. Kinda crazy as I usually will not do such things back home. Each pack comes with 8 Takoyakis and minimum cost is 550 yen.

I took the original flavour, with bonito flakes and teriyaki sauce.

It could be that I was hungry, or the greediness built up after queuing up for 30 minutes, but it was the BEST Takoyakis I ever had. Thin brownish layer of super crunchiness wrapping in the gooey soft chunky octopus bits inside. It was really amazing to have this at 5 degree weather. We were sitting at the road side, over a couple of mouldy bricks while munching ’em away. 

A few days later, I saw the branch at Ueno station with no queue at all. I would try this again at other branches instead of the Harajuku’s to avoid the long queues. 

BEST-EST TAKOYAKIS! 

Address:

Gindaco,

1 Chome-14-24 Jingumae, 

Tokyo 150-0001, Japan

 

Isetan Shinjuku’s tapao dinner@APA Hotel Higashi-Nihombashi

Tonight would be tapao night. Simply because grocery stores excite me crazy. Visited Takashimaya and drooled over the display of food. Visited Isetan, and drooled even more. Somehow, the vibe of Isetan felt a little more upclass from the way the local women dress for grocery shopping. 

The downside about the stores is that the close really early, 8 pm. And by 7 pm, patrons are asked not to enter anymore.

This pack of instant noodles was from the nearby mini mart. Not from Isetan, but it joined in the tapao dinner escapade.

I was keen to find out if Taiwan’s instant noodles is better or is Japan’s one trumping the card. Package wise is somewhat similar as Taiwan’s.

After pouring out the gravy and ingredients, only did I realize that this instant noodles was dry style instead of soup. So whoops. The experience of this pack was somewhat suboptimal then. Gotta say the whole experience was much better with the Taiwan’s instant noodles.

The sashimis and sushis were the Isetan tapao dinners!

Apart from not knowing which sushi and sashimi to choose from, there were just too many choices! The stroll was lengthy. Walking up and down the alley, fiddling between the choices. All looked good in general, and expensive too! (Mainly because we have crappy currency exchange rate). Walking up and down, waiting for the waiter to keep adding more discount stickers and finally…The biggest discount, 500 yen!

Ok, grab! 

Overall experience, really fresh and good! Even the rice was plump, sweetened and nicely shaped. Don’t know how to survive back at home after tasting such good departmental store sushis.

The sashimis did not get a whopping 500 yen discount, the maximum was 200 yen, and the waiter did not look like he was going to stick anymore stickers 🙁

Ok settle for this pack, which also was fresh. Finished it within minutes. Owh man..The lovely texture of the maguro. Love it!

There was a reason why the tapao dinner was this choice. Gonna see how different the sashimis and sushis are versus Tsujiki’s tomorrow!