Hello, Noshers. Happy Thursday! Phew, for some reason this week is dragging – but I am soooo looking forward to sleeping in this Sunday, especially with Daylight Savings Time! Yay! Yesterday night I met up with a few friends, including one visiting from California, and the bunch of us stayed out until 2am catching up and dining on sul lung tang (Korean oxtail soup, mmmmm). I am SO tired this morning because of our late night exploits, but this fatigue/hunger reminded me to write about one of my casual snack joints during school – Otafuku! Otafuku specializes in takoyaki, or as I like to call them – “octopus balls”…
I believe Otafuku might be one of the few places in NYC that’s smaller than my kitchen – an impressive feat. However, the crowd of Noshers waiting for their takoyaki doesn’t seem to mind the cramped cooking quarters!
I love that the takoyaki is prepared right in front of you – using spherical molds, the cook fills each with a mix of octopus, tempura, pickled ginger, and scallions:
…before filling the rest of the mold with batter. Mmmm, batter….
The finished product is topped with takoyaki sauce, mayo, seaweed, and katsuobushi (dried bonito), which waves invitingly while daintily perched on the steaming takoyaki:
The inside is a flavorful, ooey-gooey, meaty bite of scrumptiousness. Just be careful not to burn your mouth in excitement!
An order of 6 takoyaki will set you back a whopping $5, and you can choose from several fillings (though octopus is the clear fave). Additionally, Otafuku serves edamame, okonomiyaki (a savory Japanese pancake, somewhat similar to Korean pajun) and a few other goodies on its limited menu. But if you happen to be in the East Village area, definitely stop by Otafuku! Your former college-age self will thank you. 🙂
Cheap and good.
236 East 9th St. (btw 2nd Ave/Stuyvesant St.)