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Takoyaki in Osaka’s Fukushima District: Checking out the Famous ‘Takoya’!

Takoyaki in Osaka’s Fukushima District: Checking out the Famous ‘Takoya’!

Date published: 9 October 2019

The taste of Osaka Takoyaki may vary from store to store. However it also reflects the mood of the city. Locals may believe that the "flavor of the neighborhood" is by far the best tasting, but on the other hand may have the desire to expand their tastes a bit further beyond the horizon. The world of takoyaki includes more than just the taste of the ingredients, textures and seasonings, but of the people and the towns as well.

Takoya opened in 2011 in a category of eateries called "Takoyaki Izakaya." Osaka takoyaki stands are primarily take-out style, with many such shops lining station fronts and shopping districts, so the existence of the former is much less than that.

▲ Their fish dishes other than octopus are also excellent quality. "Tsukuri-tokujo 5-shu Mori" is ¥2000 for 1~2 servings. There is also an enhanced teppan-yaki menu with items such as "Nikuatsu Tonpei-yaki" (¥780) and "Tako Chijimi" (¥680).

Takoya may be an izakaya, but its parent organization is a wholesale octopus distributor. With shops set up in the Osaka Central Wholesale Market, they provide carefully selected octopus from both locally as well as overseas to Japanese and Western restaurants. It may seem a bit sneaky, but it's a great strategy for high cost performance.The menu is full of takoyaki and other dishes made from the plump, tender octopus that is freshly boiled here daily. Upon hearing that, I went out to try it at once.

▲In addition to the Akashidako octopus in the photo, today there were other menu items such as tenagadako (long-arm octopus). It seems that you can even enjoy odorigui (live octopus) here for ¥980 per serving.

The front of JR Fukushima Station is lively with some of the latest eating and drinking establishments, including regular bars and standing bars. The expression "hayari no roji-ten," or "fashionable alley shop," seems to exist because of the Fukushima area. The southern Fukushima area is now an interesting spot where you will see a growing number of food establishments in the back alleys, practically competing with the station itself.

▲The underground Shin Fukushima Station of the JR Tozai Line is right next door
▲The signboard reads "Takoyaki you can get hooked on." Up the stairs towards the left of the entrance is a private rental space (8 to 20 people). All courses are from 3,000 yen and up (reservations required).

Back-to-Back Delicious Octopus Dishes

The octopus served in Takoya are already delicious as it is, and are used not only for takoyaki, but for assorted platters and carpaccio dishes as well. There are even pieces included in their potato salad! It is truly a shop that is all about octopus.

Three different kinds of octopus, 980 yen. The Akashidako octopus (left) is full of elasticity and taste with its wasabi soy sauce flavor. The Hokkaido Mizudako octopus (middle), with its plump body and lightly roasted suction pads, is flavored with sesame oil and salt. The vinegar miso adds a softness to these Morocco produced items.

The tako potato salad (480 yen) is a lightly seasoned potato salad, voluminous with it boiled octopus bits, and plump with its unique Moroccan flavor.

Takoyaki with Plump, Large Octopus

The captain, Yukio Ueda, states that for his takoyaki, "I only use the softest and most tasteful Moroccan products of the highest quality."

▲He takes a quick break after pouring dough one by one onto the baking table. "I'm actually training new staff," Mr. Ueda says, mid-lecture.

The takoyaki ingredients are extremely simple. The dough is minimally seasoned with Japanese dashi. The amount of dough is also just right, so you can get the full taste of the octopus rather than of the oil.

The chunks that poke out of the dough are also "completely normal." This allows the taste of the octopus to leak out into the dough as it is being cooked. I'd like to taste it freshly baked, without the sauce.

As if to prove just how delicious everyone knows it is, while the takoyaki was being cooked up at the store, a neighborhood housewife pulled up quickly on her ladies' bicycle, and after only saying the words "10 please," rushed off to continue her shopping again.

Seeing this, one of the clerks said, "There are many regulars who book by phone, too." I was convinced those were probably a snack for her kids, or a side snack for the father's after-dinner drinks.

▲They are carefully baked with a custom-made, heat conducting copper plate, giving the surface a crispy finish, even as you turn it and touch it.

These takoyaki are larger than usual. The outside is thick, and the octopus inside is surprisingly plump. Along with plain, there are 14 other flavors such as salt, soy sauce and garlic. Warm and cold dashi, green onions and cheese toppings are also available for an extra 50 yen. I would like to stop by and try a new one every day.

▲6 pieces, 420 yen; 6 piece take-out, 400 yen

Characteristic of Fukushima is the downtown appearance, despite being smack dab in the middle of a big city. No matter how much the number of stylish new shops increases, or how the city and the people who inhabit it change, there will always be those who enjoy takoyaki, and that good Osaka mood, every day. It is a part of the culture that has been deeply rooted in this town since long, long ago.

  • Takoya
    • Address 2-10-23 Fukushima, Fukushima-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
    • Phone Number 06-6136-3108
    • Hours: 4:30PM~ 11:00PM
      (4:30PM~10:00PM on Sundays)
      Closed: Irregular holidays

Text by:140B

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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