Takoyaki – Edmonton, AB


Takoyaki Japanese Cuisine
15041 Stony Plain Road
Edmonton, AB
(780) 484-1661

UPDATE: I have since heard that this restaurant has closed – but is opening up under another new name.

I was never much of a fan of the former Sankyu, and while in the area – noticed a new sign for Takoyaki Japanese Cuisine. Thinking that It may have changed – I was up for some Japanese street food for which this restaurant is named after.

takoyaki_interior

The interior looks identical to its former life, and menu items appeared to be identical as well.   A large menu filled with their ‘modern’ take on sushi, along with a long list of other Japanese food options.  Wanting to fill my craving for takoyaki (small fluffy battered balls of octopus) –  I was told that they didn’t have the ingredients to make it this evening…

Going back to the menu – an image of the ika karaage (fried squid) caught my eye – and figured it was a good compromise.

Bad choice – not only were the squid tenticles connected in a large mass (making it difficult to eat with chopsticks), it STANK like old squid and funky oil.

takoyaki_ika_karaage

The tuna dice arrived next.  Square forms of rice, topped with albacore tuna – then blowtorched. From a cosmetic viewpoint – these look interesting, but taste like warm tuna on burnt rice.

There is a really great cooking technique used in Japan on onigiri (commonly seen as a triangular rice ball, filled with a variety of items), in which it is grilled using a ceramic coated wire appliance.  This results in a crispy toasted rice layer adding a fantastic textural component – but in this case, the sugars in the sushi rice seasoning are just burnt – adding absolutely nothing.

Albacore tuna, when seared properly can also create a great textural component – but again, in this dish – torching such a small piece of tuna doesn’t add any textural change – and only alters the color and warms it up.

takoyaki_tunadice

The nigiri sushi was the next in the parade of food failures.  Mushly, overcooked rice, packed so tight that each piece tasted like a mochi meatball.   Combined with the sesame oil sauce drizzled on the plate – this had to be the single worst sushi experience of my life.

takoyaki_nigiri

I was tempted to say something to the chef as this was so bad – but decided to pay my tab, walk away – and ultimately initiated my desire to initiate our post on the foodosophy of sushi.

Takoyaki Japanese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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7 thoughts on “Takoyaki – Edmonton, AB

  1. Ah, so this was the impetus for the bigger post! 🙂

    I find that most restaurants that have images of their dishes tend to disappoint, because you never know how long ago that image was taken or even if has changed due to a new cook in the kitchen. That ika karaage does look horrific though, and it appears extremely brittle and tasteless.

    I agree the tuna dice is a nice concept – almost taking a spot between nigiri and maki. Did it also have a strong “burnt” scent? The black spots on the rice would suggest to me that it would have been overwhelming in a negative sense.

    Sesame oil sauce with nigiri!?!? It almost looks like they are bleeding out, waiting to be put out of their misery.

    Thanks for taking one for the team!

    • Shokutsu: the ika karaage was wrong on so many levels, but when I capitalized the STANK, I was really trying to convey how bad it smelled. How the chef could let something like that leave the kitchen is beyond me.

      The dice didn’t smell burnt – just tasted that way. The lemon hid most of it, but there was absolutely no reason for torching this as they did.
      Torching some fattier cuts of salmon will begin to melt the fat – resulting in an enhanced buttery texture, albacore can benefit from an external sear – but requires a lot more time under the torch to create a textural difference (which would require the tuna to be much bigger at the onset).

      Nigiri and sauce – I’m still trying to figure out what they were thinking. Sauce on nigiri isn’t all-together odd (i.e. unagi/anago), but to decorate the plate with a sauce, and expose all of the nigiri to it – is just stupid.

      Ultimately – this is probably the first time I can say that I found something worse than T.Express.

    • A couple was leaving as we came in. Another entering as we were finishing up.
      You can see it was quite dead from my pic taken inside.
      All I really wanted was some takoyaki… 😦

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