Takoyaki (octopus balls) – $2.70 from Sushi Show, QVB lower ground
What better way to start than with a strange looking sea creature, cut into small pieces and fried in balls of batter. Today we cast our eye on takoyaki, or octopus balls for the uninitiated. These are a traditional Japanese snack, made in a special hemi-spherical pan using a fishy batter, boiled octopus chunks, spring onions, a special brown sauce and mayonnaise, and topped with waving shavings of bonito. Think of a spherical savoury seafood poffertje.
Sushi Show have made a fine attempt from their small shop in the Queen Victoria Building. Look past the racks of sushi and you’ll see a small selection of other fine fried snacks, including some tasty looking prawn parcels (keep an eye out for a future review).
Now I’ve always appreciated a rolling snack, and with an axle, it’s even better. Balanced flavours, generous on the octopus, but not too fishy. Where the snack falls down though is in the heat department. Takoyaki should ideally be served at a temperature so hot, that even the fires of hell seem tame by comparison. Since Sushi Show are aiming for the take-away fast food market, the takoyaki are prepared in advance and kept in a warming rack, where the full potential is lost. This also means that Sushi Show omit what is perhaps the most exciting element of takoyaki, the wavering bonito flakes, which would be wasted here. Not quite an every day go-to snack, but good every now and then to mix things up a bit. Three stars.
Originality – Good
Execution – OK
Value – Fair
Overall judgement: 3