Takoyaki, Japan’s ever-popular street food gets a sweet gourmet makeover in time for Valentine’s Day.

Stores around the country are absolutely brimming with beautifully packaged, glossy, mouthwatering sweet temptations in the lead up to Valentine’s Day this year. While most feature love hearts and romantic shades of red and pink, there’s one shop in Shibuya that’s choosing to win hearts using a very different approach: with a sweet that looks like a serving of fried octopus balls.


Officially called “Takoyaki Shock Chocolate” which translates to”Fried Octopus Ball Shock Chocolate”, the unique dish has been created by one of Japan’s most talented and well-known patissiers, Aoki Sadaharu. Having trained in France, Sadaharu is known for fusing traditional Japanese flavours into French-style pastries, but this time he’s injecting some French flavour into one of Japan’s most well-known savoury dishes.

▼ With stores in Japan, Paris and Taipei, Sadaharu’s unique chocolate takoyaki stand can be found at one branch only: the Sadaharu Aoki booth at ShinQs, on the second floor of the Hikarie Building in Shibuya.



Each serving of Takoyaki Shock Chocolate contains four pieces and comes in a traditional boat-shaped takoyaki dish made from a paper-thin sheet of wood. Retailing for 432 yen (US$3.70) and available only until 15 February, signs in the store warn that the sweet is not available to take out as it’s best eaten right away.


The reason these should be devoured immediately is because they’re freshly made in the exact same way as takoyaki, using a cast iron griddle containing deep circular grooves. After greasing the moulds, smattering them with colourful shards of macaron and then filling them half-way with a rich batter, a small piece of chocolate cake is placed in the middle of each.


▼ Bubbling away in the heat, these look remarkably similar to takoyaki already. Usually, there would be a bright mound of octopus poking out from the middle of these!


The same tools for takoyaki-making are used here, with a metal pick being used to turn the balls on their side as they brown.


After adding another layer of macaron shards, more batter is used to fill the moulds, creating a spherical piece that’s three-quarters of the way complete.


After a squirt of batter and another turn, the balls soon take on their final shape.


Continually flipped to keep from burning, the dough begins to resemble takoyaki even more as they gradually turn a light golden-brown.


Once they’re ready, they’re popped in the serving dish and covered with a thick dollop of chocolate sauce and more delicious macaron fragments.


Served with a couple of toothpicks, we’re surprised at how similar these look to fried octopus balls. The melted chocolate mimics the dark takoyaki sauce that would normally be drizzled on the dish, while the red and green macaron rusks are designed to resemble pickled ginger and green laver.


▼ The toothpicks, which are used to eat takoyaki, help add to the illusion.


While a thinner, more melted layer of chocolate sauce would have made the dish look even more authentic, what really impressed us were the fried balls of dough, which looked exactly like the real thing. Just looking at the golden colouring and their speckled green and pink appearance made us think we were about to bite into a filling of spring onion, pickled ginger and octopus.


As the chocolate sauce melted down the sides of each round piece, they looked more like they were drizzled with real takoyaki sauce.


As we bit into our first piece, we were pleasantly surprised by the texture. The thick, springy dough was just what we expected from a traditional takoyaki ball…and then came the shock of chocolate. It was just like having a mouthful of deliciously warm molten chocolate cake, only with the rich gooey sauce on the outside.


The macaron shards were used primarily for visual effect as they provided very little crunch and did nothing to take away from the rich flavour of chocolate, which, as the name suggests, is the absolute star of the dish.

We were so impressed by the limited-edition sweet, we went back for a second round! Whether you’re from Osaka, the birthplace of takoyaki, or simply a fan of the popular festival food, this is one gift that’s sure to melt hearts this Valentine’s Day.

Photos, video © RocketNews24


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