Meaning “Welcome!”, that universal greeting at Japanese restaurants everywhere immediately sets the tone for a distinctive gastronomic experience. You know that you are all set for a fun encounter, and often, you walk away satisfied with a happy tummy.
We discovered this “octopus’ corner” at Southwood Mall in Binan, Laguna with long queues of people waiting for their turn to order.
Takoyaki created in Osaka, Japan in the 1930s and today is still legendary for being Osakan cuisine! The “tako” (蛸) in takoyaki meaning octopus and yaki (焼) meaning baked. It’s a ball-shaped snack made of wheat-based batter and can contain various different fillings and toppings.
Other fillings usually include tempura leftovers, pickled ginger, and green onion. The takoyaki is topped with takoyaki sauce (which is like Worcestershire sauce), Japanese mayonnaise, dried laver, and bonito flakes. There are some different variations though, for example, you can get ones with shrimp inside or different seafood of your choice.
Jin-Zai’s food theatre.
We were just amazed by Jin-Zai’s food theatre. In most of the Japanese restaurants and food shacks that we patronized;, the kitchen is always placed upfront in plain view of diners. And that is one unique characteristic of Japanese dining, it is not just about taste but food theatre.
The crowd favorite, Baby Tako which is our favorite too, is a whole baby octopus in a ball of Takoyaki. You can literally see its tentacles on top! I personally love Spicy Tamago Takoyaki, creamy and so rich in textures.
As for the price, we’d say it’s a bit expensive compared to other Takoyaki stands in Metro Manila but for the quality of the ingredients and generous serving, we’d say it’s definitely worth it.