Otafuku x Medetai Takoyaki

Otakufu x Medetai
Otakufu x Medetai

Two blocks of the East Village have always fascinated me. Neither of them is St. Marks Place with all of its tattoo and piercing parlors. Both of them are just to the north of it – East 9th Street between Stuyvesant Street and 2nd Avenue and East 10th Street between 2nd Avenue and 1st Avenue.

On each of the blocks, there are at least 5 restaurants specialized in their own category of Japanese cuisine. These restaurants did not just poof and appear from a cloud of construction dust. They were open one by one over the course of two decades. I once wondered if that they were opened by like-minded restaurateurs wanting to show New Yorkers there’s more to Japanese food than just sushi and ramen. It turns out most of the Japanese restaurants on those two blocks are part of Bon Yagi’s T.L.C. Restaurant Group.

Takoyaki
Takoyaki

One of T.L.C. Restaurant Group’s oldest establishment is Otafuku x Medetai. Its specialty is Japanese street food – takoyaki, yakisoba, okonomiyaki, taiyaki. Takoyaki literally means grilled octopus. Dollops of batter are first added to the spherical slots of a large cast-iron griddle, followed by chunks of octopus. Then as the batter and octopus are cooked the griddle vibrates causing the content in each slot to rotate forming beautiful ping pong ball sized deliciousness.


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