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takoyaki

r
rachel Apr 27, 2004 05:36 PM

greetings!

does anybody know a good & authentic takoyaki place in toronto? [preferably a place where its possible to get by ttc]
if the place also makes okonomiyaki, i would be very happy :D

and where exactly is the japenese-town in gta area?

thanks a lot & good day!

  1. m
    marni Apr 27, 2004 06:03 PM

    There is great okonomiyaki at Okonomi House, 23 Charles St. W. (one block south of Yonge & Bloor). Very tasty food at very reasonable prices.

    6 Replies
    1. re: marni
      a
      Apple Sep 3, 2007 08:02 PM

      Yes - Okonomi House is actually very good and very authentic. Not so much for ambiance but the okonomi house is the only place in Toronto (as far as I know) that makes okonomi yaki. I would dare say it rivals some of the best places in Japan

      1. re: Apple
        b
        beepbeep Jan 1, 2008 02:05 PM

        Miyabi at West Beaver Creek also serves okonomiyaki. Despite its Chinese locale and chinese language menu (though I am sure they have menu in Japanese, as they have some dishes written in japanese on banners), it's Japanese operated. However usually the okonomiyaki is prepared by the south asian kitchen helper. I have to say it's more similar to the one I had last week in Shinjuku Kabuki-cho (not where okonomiyaki originated). Those at Okonomi House are thinner, less fluffy, has less egg, and cost less.

        The 168 Tea Shop at 377 Yonge(near Gerrard) now serves Takoyaki. It's supposed to be a branch of "naniwa taro" first opened in T&T at Middlefield/Steeles. There is only a small poster in front to indicate it serves takoyaki.

        1. re: beepbeep
          b
          beepbeep Jan 24, 2008 10:53 AM

          168 Tea Shop no longer serve Takoyaki. The partnership with Naniwa Taro never worked out, I guess.

        2. re: Apple
          50firstdatesguy Jan 2, 2008 06:49 PM

          Apple: You DO dare say :)

          I hate to sound like 'that guy' but I cannot honestly agree that Okonomi House rivals anything in Japan. I have a soft spot for that place but (and here is where I sound pompous, please forgive) I've eaten numerous okonomiyaki in Hiroshima and Osaka as well as at okonomiyaki places in Tokyo that re-create styles from the two cities. My cousins husband used to own his own okonomiyaki booth actually and my dear old mum makes it for me when I ask.

          First strike against Okonomi house is that I do not believe they offer the Hiroshima style, only the flat pancake Osaka style. Hiroshima style is made differently and is considerably larger and grander in presentation and taste. It involves an egg, alot of cabbage, and several 'layers' including one of soba or udon. It's quite fun to watch being made actually. Most who have no loyalty to either mecca consider the Hiroshima style to be the superior one.

          Secondly, even within the realm of Osaka style, they are tasty at Okonomi House but still cannot hold a candle to the fat, octopus-laden okonomiyaki I've had in Osaka. I remember thinking 'tasty but kinda small' the first time I had one, but still definitely tasty. By contrast the ones in Japan filled me right up and I'm a pretty big guy.

          Anyway again I hate to the guy who pees in other peoples corn flakes but as nice as the place is, rivaling some of the best places in Japan is next to impossible for Okonomi House.

          To the topic at hand.. I've had takoyaki at two locations that have received fairly decent reviews on here. One was Mochizuki and the other was Ichiban. Both places had the same kind of takoyaki, which is a deep-fried batter-ball with tiny bits of tako inside. The result is a flaky ball of mayonnaise flavoured stew which loosely emulates takoyaki.

          True takoyaki is supposed to be done in a special machine that doesn't deep fry (see photo) It's basically a miniature version of okonomiyaki. There should be a large chunk of octopus inside, sometimes the whole hard boiled egg of a small hen, and it should be covered in okonomiyaki sauce and shredded seaweed or any number of traditional garnishings.

          Unfortunately I have only heard rumours about authentic takoyaki in the city.
          So far through the Japanese grape vine I haven't heard of any reputable places that do it correctly. What CandyGirl describes at Taro's in J-town sounds really good and authentic!.. but I haven't had it so I cannot comment.

           
          1. re: 50firstdatesguy
            skylineR33 Jan 24, 2008 12:56 PM

            I had some takoyaki at J-Town but the one I tried there is kind of big, unlike the traditional smaller one in Japan (the one in your picture). The taste is only so-so.... Or does J-Town actually have a smaller version of takoyaki ?

            1. re: 50firstdatesguy
              a
              Apple Jan 24, 2008 02:46 PM

              With credentials like that - how can I argue with you, 50firstdatesguy? lol. On a trip to Japan, I scoured Hiroshima & Osaka for okonomi. Boy, did I enjoy it! About the fresh seafood, you're right. But I can hardly deduct points from our friends on Charles Street. Okonomi House still does it for me. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree!! :)

        3. o
          Ontpiggy Apr 29, 2004 09:21 AM

          One of the food stalls in the food court in First Makrham Place (Woodbine/Hwy 7)has takoyaki. It looks similar to the ones in Osaka but the taste is not really the same. I would not recommned it but if you really want to try, it's no harm. I also tried some frozen one from Japan Town (Woodbine & Steeles)but still did taste the same.

          For okonomiyaki, I believe Okonomi House is the only one does it in Toronto. But still, it cant be compared with the ones I had in Osaka.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Ontpiggy
            c
            CandyGirl Apr 29, 2004 12:58 PM

            The seafood store in J-Town (Taro's Fish) makes takoyaki on weekends. They are usually sold in packages of four and garnished with bonito flakes and bulldog sauce. Depending on the time of the day, you may get them fresh out of their kitchen. Personally, I like them either way.

            1. re: CandyGirl
              p
              Prabhakar Ragde Sep 1, 2007 01:36 PM

              I was fortunate enough to arrive at Taro's today (my first visit ever) as the takoyaki were coming out of the kitchen. They were very good -- better than the ones I had at Otafuku in NYC. --PR

            2. re: Ontpiggy
              w
              Wil Jan 2, 2008 12:59 PM

              1st Markham Place one closed down awhile ago

            3. k
              katostar Mar 26, 2007 08:27 AM

              I know for sure they have it at the following places coz i've ate them there before

              ~ Kenzo Ramen at Yonge and south of Steeles - around $8 for 6pcs
              ~ T&T Middlefield/Steeles - a japanese stand inside the foodcourt...has okonomiyaki...takoyaki...and i think they added some new items like omurice..oyakodon and etc...u can get the takoyaki with another item in a combo or by itself ranging from $4+ for 6pcs or so.......

              or you can get pkged ones at T&T or some asian markets....i also know the P.A.T. at ktown has a pack you can get for like $6....they are frozen ones...

              Hope that helps you!

              2 Replies
              1. re: katostar
                sumashi Jan 1, 2008 08:40 PM

                I've only tried the ones at Kenzo before, but really liked it. How do the ones at Taro and the stand in T&T compare?
                When I was in Vancouver, I tried takoyaki at several places thinking it should be really good there, but I found that their takoyaki was just octopus in batter. If you ever watch them make it at Kenzo, they put a whole bunch of stuff into it.

                To add to Ontpiggy's J-Town directions, it's actually one light east of the Woodbine and Steeles intersection. You should see a yellow sign with black writing "J-Town" and a yellow tent across the entrance once you get into the parking lot.

                1. re: sumashi
                  k
                  katostar Jan 2, 2008 07:36 AM

                  well i guess the one's at t&t aka naniwa taro r more battered with octopus and the mayo, sauce and the seasoning on top...i guess they focus more on okonomiyaki than takoyaki there and while the ones at kenzo and the pkg ones at j-town r osaka style so it's different.

                  i guess i'll have some okonomiyaki and takoyaki today =p

              2. p
                pammycakes Jan 2, 2008 12:26 PM

                I've got to say, I went to Okonomi house several years back and it was certainly anything but authentic. They're Okonomiyaki didn't have cabbage in it, which is strange cause in Japan, that's one of the main ingredients of it. A big dissappointment. I've been to the T&T Naniwa-Taro and it was alot better than Okonomi house. They also have Tako-yaki which my husband and I both enjoyed.

                Taro's at J-Town has them as well, but unfortunately, they're not hot off the grill.

                1. l
                  lsk Jan 24, 2008 05:48 PM

                  I like Naniwa Taro the best out of all the offerings in Toronto. I've tried the Osaka-style and the Hiroshima-style okonomiyaki - the former is fine, probably the best I've had in Toronto (cue the "but it's not as good as what I had in Japan" remark). The Hiroshima-style is very filling, very impressive, but not as many layers as I've heard Hiroshima-style can have -- i.e., mochi and cheese.

                  Their takoyaki is also the best in Toronto -- pretty decent pieces of octopus and fluffy batter. Naniwa-Taro also does mondayaki.

                  Okonomi House...is fine if you're downtown. I never get enough mayonnaise or sauce to suit me.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lsk
                    skylineR33 Jan 24, 2008 06:22 PM

                    I tried Naniwa Taro (the one inside T&T, right ?) about one year ago, it is chinese owned. Not that I don't prefer chinese owned, but it is really one of the worst okonomiyaki I had, the one I tried is the osaka style, with no yakisoba noodle.

                    I think it must be run by a new chef now, since you said it is good.

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