TAKO-i Takoyaki @ AEON Kinta City, Ipoh
For Ipoh citizens, I’m sure you have noticed the new renovation for AEON Kinta City (formerly known as Jusco Kinta City). They’ve recently renovated the grocery section, and added some space for food stalls. They now have a variety of sushi choices compared to last time! I still think AEON Station 18 have bigger and so much better selection for sushi, but hey, it’s a big improvement so I’m glad! Kinta City is closer to my place than Station 18.
One of the new outlets is ‘TAKO-i Takoyaki‘. I’m a HUGE fan of takoyaki. I’ve only tasted Tako Tao, which is located at AEON Station 18. While I’m happy Tako Tao is in Ipoh, the location is way too far for me. But now I have a new option – TAKO-i. Before the renovation, there used to be another takoyaki stall but I’m assuming it didn’t receive many customers so it closed down. The stall that sold expensive flavored waffles also closed down and moved to station 18, it seems.
When I dropped by at AEON a few months ago, I didn’t know it was the first day they opened the stall. They had a promotion that caught my eyes. As a new opening promotion, they were giving a free piece of abalone slice takoyaki ball. Not wanting to give up that opportunity, I bought one to try!
It was almost closing time but there were still quite a number of people queuing up to buy it. I had to wait for a while to get mine after I placed an order and paid for it.
It’s always fun to watch how takoyaki balls are made. I wish I could buy the takoyako cooker/maker so I can make my own. Unlike tako tao where you could barely see them making takoyaki unless you peeked inside, TAKO-i have theirs made behind a glass window so everything is in clear view.
I decided to go for small octopus flavor, my favorite. They have small octopus, chicken ham & cheese, scallops, jelly fish and abalone flavors.
A box of 3 takoyaki balls is RM4.90
It comes in a box in a shape of a boat compared to a square box at Tako Tao. It’s really cute! I’ve seen a video about Japan where they review takoyaki with a similar looking boat box… maybe it’s the same brand.
I do have a complaint regarding the packaging though. The box is very thin and soft and flimsy. If you intend on buying the takoyaki to be eaten right away, it’s fine. But if you want to take home, there’s gonna be a problem. When they put the just cooked balls in it, and close the lid, they will steam up and make the lid very soggy despite having holes at the side. It’s difficult to handle without tearing it or damaging the takoyaki and get the mayonnaise topping all over the inside of the box.
If you buy 2 boxes like I did during my 2nd visit, they will stack the boxes on top of each other in the plastic bag. After a while, the cover will get soggy and the box on top of it will crush it, thus damaging your takoyaki balls. Maybe it’s because of the plastic bag and the steam couldn’t be released properly, thus making the box soggy.
Unlike Tako Tao, their box is sturdy and quite thick, and it fits 3 takoyaki balls better without much space of it to move around.
Tada! My small octopus takoyaki balls with a free piece of abalone takoyaki ball. The box fits 4 balls perfectly, so for their normal 3 pieces per set, it will leave quite a huge space. If you’re not careful when handling the box, the takoyaki balls will move around and get ruined.
The takoyaki is delicious! However, personally, I still prefer Tako Tao better. I think this one is a bit soft, and not that fulfilling for my taste. The flavor is *slightly* lower than Tako Tao. But hey, at least I can still eat takoyaki when I go to AEON Kinta City so no complains there!
The 2nd time I went there last week, they had another promotion – Buy 2nd box at 50% off.
UPDATE DEC 28th 2015: They’ve closed down! No longer available.
AEON Kinta City Ipoh
No 2, Jalan Teh Lean Swee,
Off Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah Utara,
31400 Ipoh, Perak