T - Asia - Unique

Takoyaki Candy Kit

Meiji

Taste: 2

Texture: 3

Novelty: 3 (could be a 5 with practice)

All scores out of 5

To understand this treat, you first have to know what "Takoyaki" is. Simply put it's a small round cake snack with pieces of octopus inside them. They are covered in a brown sauce and they often have fish flakes on top as well. Since they're served extremely hot (temperature not spiciness) the fish flakes appear to dance on top of them. I've sampled them before, and I can't really remember how they tasted, I was too busy trying to deal with the burns on my tong and the roof of my mouth.

I think this treat could really look like fake Takoyaki, and I think it could be really fun, I just think you need to try it a few times to get the hang of it. Not being able to read Japanese, I could only guess at some of the instructions, most notably how much water to ad. I think I did pretty well, but when it came to the part where you're supposed to spin them in their circular tray to make perfect balls, I think I fell pretty short. My ball came out more like sticky globs than balls, but a few of them had one side looking fine. The brown sauce might have been close to what the original sauce looked like, but for the most part it just ran all over the place. My favourite touch was the little gummy octopi that you had to stick into each ball.

While this treat was fairly fun to make, although fairly challenging, flavour and texture wise it was a bit of a disappointment. Texture wise the dough was just a sticky gelatinous ball, but worst of all, the brown sauce didn't stick to the balls that much, and most of it ended up dripping off the balls. This wasn't a total loss since the brown sauce was the most disappointing flavour of this collection. The dough is peach flavoured, the gummy octopi are strawberry, the little green sprinkles don't really have a flavour, but the sauce is chocolate. The chocolate flavour really didn't go well at all with the flavours of the other components. It was way too strong, and just ruined any of the nice fruity flavours that could have made this treat really nice.

This Takoyaki Kit was one of the most challenging treats I've ever had to review. It wasn't that it was disappointing; I just need some practice to get it right. I think little kids might not enjoy these that much due to the difficulty of making the balls, but I think any fan of Japanese foods might get a kick out them. The thing is, you need context, and you need the skills that come from years of Takoyaki making.