Taiyaki is a Japanese fish shaped cake, usually filled with red bean paste. At Taiyaki NYC, located near downtown Little Italy, the fillings are either red bean or vanilla custard. It’s a delicious little bugger. The one I chose is called “Straight outta Japan” with sesame and green tea matcha flavored ice cream. (Top right in the following picture). The filling was red bean with a bamboo? type shish kabob of mochi. It was delicious! There are other fishies of the sweeter variety, especially the “You’re berry lovely” (Featured bottom left) I attribute it to the strawberry drizzle on top.
When we visited, the small square hole in the wall of a space was jam packed with people eagerly awaiting their ice cream filled delight. A reason for this, is that they hand make the taiyaki on site. Which means fresh baked fish cakes, which also means quickly melting ice cream! Just a forewarning, the combos with the “drizzle” liquifies faster than the fish-wiches sans syrup. This includes the fish, which can become a soggy mess if left to soak up the ice cream.
So…some helpful tips for the first timers eating an ice cream filled taiyaki.
- Don’t squeeze the belly of the beast…it will vomit ice cream. Cradle it gingerly, or even sideways near the tail area where it’s slimmest.
- Eat fairly quickly (especially if your taiyaki is warm)… unless you like soupy ice cream, squishy cake and sticky fingers.
- Don’t poke holes in the eyes of your fish with your bamboo kabob spear , it will cry tears of ice cream (yes, i did that, noob mistake). Though it did enhance the taiyaki eating experience.
- The wafer stick is filled with strawberry cream frosting…thats more of an fyi than a tip.
- Last but not least have fun and try it! So what if its messy and you have that one friend who ends up with their ice cream on the floor. At least they will still have cake!
Until next time, stay curious unbirthday adventurers!