Thursday, 2 August 2012

Takoyaki in Chinatown


When I first walked past this stall in Chinatown, I did a double-take. A few more steps were taken, before I realised I was being foolish and so I hurried back to pick up a snack. A poster advertising takoyaki - balls of batter studded with octopus - was what I was first drawn in by. I was seduced by a pancake being made though and made a last minute decision swap.



Batter is poured onto a hot plate and spread thin to form the base. An egg is cracked on top and then spread over it, before it's then flipped. Chilli sauce and what looked like hoisin sauce was brushed over it, and some spring onions scattered on top. What followed was what drew me in; a frankfurter and a fried dough stick, before it is all wrapped up into a big steaming rectangle. 




Oh happy, glorious filthy snack. I believe this is a type of breakfast pancake, jian bing. Slightly crispy on the outside with soft doughy pancake,  I wanted a little more chilli kick but otherwise it was great. The frankfurter, one of those cheap types you get in jars, added a little porkiness to it, and further crunch came from the dough stick. For £2.50, this was pretty satisfying.




I returned the next day for takoyaki, a Japanese snack. Ever since trying them in New York for the first time, I've been hoping to find them in London. Though not quite up there with Otafaku's, they are made to order so I milled around for 10 minutes, watching the man also make Hong Kong-style egg waffles. Once cooked, the takoyaki are drizzled with mayonnaise and a fruity HP-like sauce, before being topped with bonito flakes. These were delicious; crisp fried exteriors and melting innards, a chewy piece of octopus within flavouring the batter. Again £2.50 and you get 4.

The stall is located outside a Chinese supermarket called Chinatown Market, just off Newport Place. Google Map here.  

20 comments:

Jessica said...

Oh my days. China! God I must go. We tried so many with a vague combo like this in SW and Jon's always talked about ones with a big waffle in too (from Beijing). Frankfurter though? Mental!

Kitsune said...

There was a stall in Camden Market too for years - although I haven't been back in a long time, not sure if it's still there.

Kitsune said...

There was a stall in Camden Market years ago too - although I haven't been back in a long time, so I'm not sure if it's still there.

Paul Hart said...

AMAZING I want a frankfurter batter egg pancake thing!

Vicky @ Ursine Cuisine said...

Oooh, I can see why you would be conflicted in your choice! Huge takoyaki fan and have been battling the urge to buy a takoyaki pan - such a specialist piece of equipment for our tiny, tiny kitchen. However, this is the fourth tagoyaki blogpost I've seen in the last month so I have decided to take it as a divine sign and order!

Chris Pople said...

£2.50 for 4 takoyaki is a bargain. Good find.

I always wonder why the filling has to be octopus though. The meat is so lost within the batter and strong sauces you could put more or less anything in there. In fact, maybe some places do.

Gene said...

Fried food rules! Although, I think that I'd prefer the octopus to the frankfurter, but that's just me!!

princessjasmine said...

Thanks for this my dear. I work a stones throw from China Town so will definitely be making a visit :)

Kavey said...

Oh I saw this stall when I went to meet a friend for dim sum recently, must stop and try next time.

Helen said...

BOUNCY OCTOPUS BALLS!

J@feasttotheworld said...

After reading this post, I have the sudden urge to dash to Chinatown for on of those filthy You char kwai and sausage filled pancake.......looks so naughty but sounds absolutely amazing!

Kay @ Chopstix2Steaknives said...

I love those pancakes...need to get myself there.

The Grubworm said...

Oooh, dough sticks, frankfurter and a fried agg, all wrapped in a pancake? Now that's what I call a filthyly lovely snack... I salute your forbearance and willpower, i'd have ended up scoffing the pancake AND the takoyaki. Glad to see them hitting the streets of London.

Donald Edwards said...

Filthiness of the highest order, fucking tasty though..

promette said...

I would murder some takoyaki right now!

Jonathan said...

Sheer, glorious filth.

arthurmauk said...

Grrr I went past Chinatown yesterday and was hoping to find some takoyaki but I couldn't find them, there was a different stall selling egg waffles instead. :( I'll have to try again some other time...

arthurmauk said...

Found it! Maybe I was over-optimistic though, cos I was expecting more than one piece octopus per ball...

Lizzie Mabbott said...

Arthurmauk - Glad you finally found them! I've never had takoyaki with more than one piece of octopus in it, to be honest.

arthurmauk said...

Tenshi in Angel now sells takoyaki at a stall outside its shop at lunchtimes. Much better than the Chinatown ones imo (larger and better filling, not just dough), not really worth a trek to but if you're in the area at the right time then why not: http://instagram.com/p/a_Oe-aJqYU/#