Friday 13 May 2016

Takoyaki in Osaka ~ Creo-ru & Kukuru, Dotonbori and Doraku Wanaka, Kuromon Market

Takoyaki originates from Osaka which is why it's not surprising that Dotonbori street has at least 10 stalls, all popular and most with crazy queues. I had a list of takoyaki stalls I wanted to try and out of the many, LC and I managed to try 3 places - Kukuru, Creo-ru & Doraku Wanaka.

From the top: Kukuru, Creo-ru and Doraku Wanaka


Kukuru was our first stop and is located on the same street as our next target, Creo-ru. The queue was quite long - we waited a good 10 minutes before it was our turn. Sadly there was only normal takoyaki available so we went with a 8 piece (650¥) serving. On the menu, there's a bacon & cheese takoyaki as well as a shrimp variant. The takoyaki was quite mushy but it held it's shape even after a bite. The octopus chunk in Kukuru's takoyaki was huge, taking up 1/3 of the takoyaki. Topped with bonito flakes, seaweed powder, takoyaki sauce and mayo, the flavors were balanced just right. Kukuru was our overall favorite for flavor and my favorite for the large octopus chunk.


I queued at Creo-ru while LC was searching almost the entire length of Dotonbori for a rubbish bin. He found one after searching a good 5 minutes and I was still in line when he got back! The wait lasted about 10 minutes. Creo-ru has a slightly more modern take on takoyaki with topping variations of cheese, negi (spring onions) with and without mayo and one served with only a wedge of lime. We decided to try the 6 piece cheese takoyaki (600¥) and boy was it sinful! The creamy takoyaki was more solid than Kukuru's with deliciously charred skin. There was also a stronger ginger flavor than Kukuru's but the cheese sauce was the dominant flavor here. The takoyaki sauce was a little salty for our taste and the octopus pieces smaller compared to Kukuru's.

Doraku Wanaka

Coming across Doraku Wanaka in Kuromon Market was almost a happy coincidence as it was the last takoyaki stall on my list. Besides takoyaki, they offer Takosen, takoyaki sandwiched between senbei rice crackers and Takopon, takoyaki served with ponzu, a citrus based sauce. We ordered a 8 piece cheese takoyaki (500¥) with a spicy sauce base. We couldn't detect any cheese flavor and the octopus chunks were even smaller than Creo-ru's. The plus point here is that you get to choose a base sauce and they give you lots of bonito flakes. Doraku Wanaka's takoyaki was almost molten on the inside, very under-cooked to the point that you would get takoyaki soup at the end of the meal. Needless to say, this was my least favorite of the 3.

There's really something different about Osaka takoyaki compared to Tokyo and the rest of the world. All the takoyaki featured here had creamy insides but held together pretty well until you attempt to eat it. Have patience and try as many as you can in Osaka. They're definitely worth the wait.