Otafuku x Medetai began life as a tiny nook selling Takoyaki through a window to customers standing on the street. You would see little knots of people huddled over paper boats filled with blazing hot balls of crispy fried dough stuffed with pieces of octopus. Since then they have moved down the street to a slightly larger space with an larger industrial size Tako-pan and a standing counter that can accommodate about six people. The old spot used to make Takoyaki to order but sadly this is no longer the case at the new location.
In regards to the name, their web site says “Otafuku, the Goddess of Mirth, is our symbol not only because she looks like one awesome lady but also because she brings happinessinto people’s lives. We hope our authentic, Japanese street food will make you smile the way she does.” Takoyaki from Otafuku x Medetai gives me a stupid grin.
The Dumplings: I got a standard order of six Takoyaki which come drizzled with Japanese mayo and the house brown sauce and covered with bonito flakes. Most places use finely slivered Bonito that wriggles in the convection currents of heat coming off the dumplings. But Otafuku x Medetai uses the larger Bonito flakes often sold by the bag in Asian markets, these larger sheets just sort of lay on the dumplings. The dumplings themselves were expertly prepared, the outside was crispy cooked, while the inside was soft and moist, but not under cooked; too many places serve Takoyaki with the batter still semi-raw on the inside. Otafuku x Medetai is one of the best places to get Takoyaki in the City.
The Sauce: The menu says the Takoyaki come with a house special sauce, which I assume was the brown sauce. The sauce was tasted like the familiar tangy Worcestershire style sauce that is usually brushed onto this style of dumpling. A good sauce, but I am not sure makes makes it the house special sauce.
The Location: You can find this spot on East 9th street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues in New York City’s East Village. There are several little Tokyo neighborhoods in NYC and this one is a good area for Izakaya style dining and street snacks.