Tagged: fujipan

Takoyaki Roll – Octopus Inception

Takoyaki Roll – $2.60 from Fuji-Pan, Goulburn St Sydney (next to Fujiya Restaurant, 605 George St)

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Long time readers may remember my first foray into snack takoyaki as a solid but otherwise underwhelming experience. Today I introduce you to another variation of the humble octopus ball, reimagined by those purveyors of strange snacks, Fuji-Pan. Without repeating myself too much, takoyaki is a traditional Japanese snack of small octopus dumpling balls, served at a  temperature usually reserved for molten magma, and garnished with bonito flakes that dance like Swayze in the heat.

In a fashion one can only describe as unnecessary, Fuji-Pan have made what on first glance appears to be a giant takoyaki, around the size of a cricket ball. My stomach lit up at the thought of such a feast, and all the tentacular goodness within. On biting into the snack though, I quickly realised that this wasn’t an oversized dumpling at all, but rather a cold bread roll made to look like a giant takoyaki, complete with sauces and some fairly limp bonito. I would by lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed at this point, not the least because I was again let down in the temperature department.

Upon further excavation though I uncovered something unexpected – the roll had some sort of filled centre. Then the eureka moment – the centre of the giant takoyaki was in fact another takoyaki, like some sort of edible babushka doll. I quickly dissected the inside takoyaki in the hope of finding a tiny pea-sized dumpling, but found only a chunk of cepholapod appendage.

On the one hand, Fuji-pan have done something incredible here, in creating a snack wholly enclosed inside a giant version of itself. However, this doesn’t hide the fact that neither the core nor crust resemble anything close to the piping hot takoyaki of my youth, and the bonito flakes look more like me dancing than the late great Swayze. Another promising snack let down by poor execution. 2 1/2 stars.

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Originality – Excellent

Execution – Poor

Value – Fair

Overall judgement: 2 1/2

Nicky Sausage – A Venn diagram of meats

Nicky Sausage – $2.80 from Fuji-Pan, Goulburn St Sydney (next to Fujiya Restaurant, 605 George St)

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While it is true that the Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder classic did describe Ebony and Ivory as living together in perfect harmony, they could just as easily have been referring to ‘Pork Floss and Girls’ Names’ (which rumour has it was the original working title of the song, but was later changed due to rhyming issues). There’s something about the sweet simplicity and lingering satisfaction of pork floss that lends itself to female nomenclature, and our friends at Fuji-pan obviously agree.

The Nicky Sausage is a creative little treat, consisting of chunks of hot dog, wrapped in a bun, and coated in pork floss. It doesn’t have the same facial appeal of the Tuna Dog, or brooding mystery of the Bacon Potato Goro Goro, but does have a certain simplicity and rotational symmetry that is pleasing to the eye. The three lobes of the snack come together as a sort of meaty Venn diagram, encouraging the eater to consider the bread, sausage, and pork floss as both singular ingredients and an intimidating snack triumverate.

The pork floss and sausage of unknown origin combo is brave, and most snack purveyors avoid mixing meats, but I think Fuji-pan are on to a good thing here. The rubbery hotdog chunks give real body to what might otherwise be a slightly insubstantial affair. After eating a Nicky I feel sated, giving me time to relax and contemplate my busy life, rather than greedily peering into windows in search of my next floss fix. A good, solid snack for any time of day. Three and a half stars.

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Originality – Good

Execution – Good

Value – Good

Overall judgement: 3 1/2

Tuna Dog – Best Left for Cats

Tuna Dog – $2.60 from Fuji-Pan, Goulburn St Sydney (next to Fujiya Restaurant, 605 George St)

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My last trip to Fuji-Pan left me wanting more, so it was inevitable that I would return. This time, while perusing the various snack booths, I saw a little face peeking out at me. I soon realised that I had stumbled across an entire litter of that rarest of creatures, the Tuna Dog. Easily recognised by their flat boiled egg faces and mustard features, Tuna Dogs are timid fellows, often only seen between the hours of 11:00am and 2:30pm when they come out to feed. Ironically, most Tuna Dogs end up being eaten themselves, by those very people that the Dogs believe are there to feed them.

Distantly related to the hot-dog, the Tuna Dog is essentially a bread roll filled with tuna mornay, and with a face. Now I don’t know about you, but when faced with the choice between a snack with a face, and anything else, I’ll choose the face 9 times out of 10. The Dog itself is a satisfying snack, the mornay a good balance of tuna, mayo, corn, and onions, with the eggy mustard face bringing a slight warmth to the palette. I found myself content with my first bite, not excited, but not underwhelmed either.

If anything, the Tuna Dog is only brought down by its honesty – it’s a bread roll with tuna mornay on it. In my books, tuna mornay isn’t really a snack food, and putting something on a bread roll doesn’t quite make it so. Although Caroline, the neighbours cat, must disagree as she’s been eyeing it off for the last five minutes. Three stars.

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Originality – Fair

Execution – Good

Value – Fair

Overall judgement: 3

Bacon Potato Goro-Goro – Is that the sound of thunder?

Bacon Potato Goro-Goro – $2.90 from Fuji-Pan, Goulburn St Sydney (next to Fujiya Restaurant, 605 George St)

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As I sat at my desk yesterday afternoon, I heard a strange sound. Was that a distant roll of thunder? The skies were grey, but the noise seemed closer to home. Once more, the rumble, but this time accompanied by a small pang of hunger. My stomach! Snack Time!

I headed to Fuji-Pan, fast becoming my favourite obscure snack purveyor. A number of new items caught my attention, but I was strangely drawn to the Bacon Potato Goro-Goro. It was like a tiny dormant volcano, ready to spew forth it’s bacony contents at any moment. Needless to say, I had found my snack.

Intrigued by the origin of the name, I consulted a number of sources, and discovered that goro goro in Japanese often refers to the noise of thunder. Reading on, it seems the literal meaning is similar to ‘roll’, as in a roll of thunder, so I’ve decided to translate our snack as the Bacon Potato Thunder Roll.

The roll itself was also intriguing. Cubes of diced bacon peeked at me from beneath a mossy crust of oregano. On first bite, I discovered the potato, small cooked and herbed chunks hiding in the bottom of the bready exterior. The flavours were appealing, but I got the feeling something was wrong. Towards the end of the roll I discovered the culprit. The bacon cubes filling the roll appeared to be the travesty of meat known as ‘bacon style pieces’, which bear as much resemblance to a pig as seafood extender does to a fish. Not a deal breaker, but to be honest I was a little disappointed, after all, it’s not Bacon-style Potato Goro Goro is it?

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Originality – Excellent

Execution – Average, good potential but let down by fake bacon

Value – Fair

Overall judgement: 3