For Takoyaki fans, in Japan, you can find a Gindaco Highball Sakaba shop all throughout Japan.
As the title indicates, you can drink highball (a mixed alcoholic drink that is composed of an alcoholic base spirit and a larger proportion of a non-alcoholic mixer) and eat it with your takoyaki.
While the main store is in Tsukiji, I decided to go to the one in Nakano Broadway to try out their famous takoyaki.
It’s a stand with small tables. Many people are in and out and it can get full at times but for the most part, since people eat quickly, they are in and out. And afterward, the employees do clean the tables.
So, what is takoyaki? Tako is not like American tacos. In Japanese, tako is diced or minced octopus. Yaki means to fry or grill. So, takoyaki translates to grilled diced octopus.
The octopus is inside a ball made of wheat flour batter and cooked in a special takoyaki pan. It’s often served with green onion or pickled ginger. Often they will put takoyaki sauce and mayonaise.
And at Gindaco, they will give you a packet of green aonori.
And the takoyaki is absolutely delicious!
The menu is quite easy, they currently sell two limited items: A teritama cheese consomme (sweet sauce with egg yolk mayo and egg salad on top with parmesan and mozzarella with consomme sauce) takoyaki for Y680, shrimp and rock salt with Japanese sushi bean paste on takoyaki for Y650 and you can get their grilled takoyaki for Y550, Taratama (takoyaki with teriyaki sauce and fresh egg salad on top) for Y650, their Negiyoko (comes with hot sauce) takoyaki for Y650 and cheese mentaiko (takoyaki with mentaiko [pollock roe] mayo and cheese toppings) for Y650. For those wanting to purchase for the family, a Dandelion set of 16 pieces for Y1050 or 24 for Y1550.
Aside from the Dandelion set, the main dishes come with eight takoyaki.
In Japan, I often observe people eating takoyaki and I don’t know how many Japanese can plop it in their mouth without blowing.
For me, if I’m going to eat something super hot (as in just came out the takoyaki pan), I need something cold to drink and I’ll be blowing on it for a minute or more. But I decided, do what the Japanese do and plopped them in my mouth and without using much common sense, I knew I was going to burn my tongue and the roof of my mouth as the octopus is boiling hot. Had to get cold drink and just blow on the takoyaki until cool.
If you ever have the opportunity, definitely give Gindaco Highball Sakaba a chance!