Sunday, April 22, 2012

Heads or Tails?

Taiyaki, or baked sea bream literary translated, is a fish-shaped pancake or waffle batter filled with, commonly found, red bean paste. This is one of the most common traditional snack that you can find in Japan, after Takoyaki (octopus balls). Fish is known as a symbol of luck among Japanese people, and since Taiyaki share the same shape with sea bream, most people find this particular snack a symbol of luck as well. 

Each box contains a couple of Taiyaki, which costs you approximately Rp15.000,00

Some Taiyaki are filled with red bean paste, some are filled with other
various fillings like chocolate, cheese, sausage, and even custard

My first encounter with Taiyaki was a couple of years ago, when I was still a freshmen at Global Prestasi Senior High School, at a Japan-themed festival in Jakarta. Jak-Japan Matsuri is the name of the event, which is Jakarta-Japan Festival literary translated. You can find lots of Japanese food stands in the rather hectic and euphoric festival, one of them was the Taiyaki stand. It costed me Rp20.000,00 for my first fish-shaped cake, which is pretty costy but worth it.

Taiyaki tasted like waffles, in which was filled with red bean paste. It is a bit crunchy and crispy on the outside, especially on the edges, and soft on the inside. This snack is best to be indulge on five minutes after it came out from the baking pan. Some probably are going to eat it right away, but I find it painful because it is still hot and steamy, and it will burn your tongue. So, it is best for you to eat it after it cools off.

The chef gave me a couple of toothpicks to help me eat the Taiyaki. 
Thanks, chef, but I eat with my bare hand.

Oh look, fish out of water!

The thing about Taiyaki is that there has been a debate on which side should you eat first. Most people would eat the head first, but there are also some who insist on gulping the tail first. I usually eat the head first, leaving the best part of the snack for latter. So, which one are you? Are you Team Head, or Team Tail?


Taiyaki Stand
Kamome Swalayan
Jl. Melawai Raya 19B, Kebayoran Baru
Jakarta Selatan 12160

Phone: (021) 7280 0268

Opening Hours: 11 AM - 7 PM


  1. Team Tails. I figure that's the part you grab a fish out of water and there's a saying to grab luck by the tail. I prefer hard to soft too, but the first time I ate tail first not knowing it was crunchy. Lucky me :)

  2. Team Tails, I just don't like the thought of eating a fish head first.