If heaven exists, it probably looks something like the Nishiki Market in Kyoto: a seemingly endless street market filled with one vendor after another serving up delicious-looking food.
If it’s food-related, you’ll probably find it here. Aside from all of the enticing prepared food, there’s a smorgasbord of various meats, seafood, fruits, and vegetables — it’s a one-stop shop for all things food.
I came here without anything in mind, basically just looking for whatever stall looked the busiest. And there was no contest: this bustling takoyaki stand was clearly where it was at.
For the uninitiated, takoyaki is basically a ball of dough with a piece of octopus in the middle, typically served as street food. They had a few different varieties, including one with cheese, which I had no idea was even a thing. Obviously that’s what I got.
I like takoyaki, though it’s never really been my favourite. Most of the ones I’ve tried have been one-note doughy, with a rubbery piece of octopus inside.
The ones here, on the other hand, were delightfully crispy on the outside, creamy and a little bit gooey on the inside from the cheese, and contained a surprisingly tender piece of octopus. The sweet sauce on top does a great job of balancing out the savouriness of the balls.
Takoyaki is an Osaka specialty, so I’ll obviously be getting them again when I go there, but they’re going to have a very, very hard time living up to this. Takoyaki perfection.