236 E 9th St, New York, NY | Directions 1000340.729293 -73.987967
Mon-Fri, 1pm-10pm; Sat-Sun, 11am-10pm
Neighborhoods: Downtown, East Village
Japanese Hole in the Wall – I happened upon this little hole in the wall by chance. And by little, I mean little - a cute shop about the size of a large walk-in closet includes their kitchen and prep area. There's a small bench in front of the stall and a line of people waiting outside whether it's to place their order or wait for the food they already ordered. I decided to give it a chance because New Yorkers don't wait in line for just anything.
Otafuku is popular for their takoyaki and okonomiyaki. I placed an order for the takoyaki (octopus balls) and yakisoba (noodle) combo. I've never heard of takoyaki before but they are essentially round japanese dumplings made of flour with a piece of octopus filling. I took my first bite and I was immediately hooked. It became my weekly ritual to visit this stall. I heard you can call your order in ahead of time so you don't have to wait. Maybe I'll give it a try on my next visit.
Note to self: Add to speed dial.
Pretty Good, Cool Place – Ok.. good look in your closet, seriously go look. Ok your closet is bigger then this place... But i didn't mind that, i actually thought it was kinda cool. The guys working there were cool too. Now onto the food I got the Octopus filled Takoyaki... These things are served HOT.. like the cheese or whatever inside was burning my mouth. They were ok.. I remember wanting the fried ball to be fried longer and have more texture (it was so thin) and i wanted more octopus inside... Its not amazing but its a cool lil place to check out if your in the area....
Octopus-stuffed soba balls and other Japanese street food for East Villagers on-the-go. – In Short
This shoebox-sized restaurant serves typical street food from western Japan. Asian students choose from the two main choices that dominate the abbreviated menu--yakisoba (doughy soba balls) and okonomiyaki (savory pancakes). The yakisoba are available stuffed with ginger, scallion, minced octopus, mozzarella or straight-up plain. The okonomiyaki get jacked-up with shredded cabbage and a choice of meat or seafood and topped with house mayo and bonito flakes. A lucky few snag a spot at the counter.
Great Authentic Street-Style Japanese Food – I love this place, because it reminds me of home. The cooking of the takoyaki and okonomiyaki right in front of you is great. Its authentic with the japanese Ma-yo-nay-zu (mayonnaise) and nori (seaweed) toppings if you want them on there. And there's the authentic childhood drink of Ramune, which absolutely thrilled me when I saw it on the menu. Anyway, not much sitting space (i've even eaten my food in the nearby Starbucks) but its great, and its makes me forget that I'm in New York for a moment.
The girls are nice, and will take your order... you just have to know what you want, and not need a lot of explaining (menus do that just fine).
Try it, and if you like it, take your friends! I've introduced many friends to this little hut of a restaurant.
Good Takoyaki but THE WORST SERVICE – I love their Takoyaki but the service was beyond BAD.....horrified. Girls working there did not know how to treat a customer at all. They were ignoring, relentlessly chatting and totally APATHETIC. She almost threw Takoyaki onto the counter.
When we asked her something, she went "ehhhhhh?" with an open mouth.
The wait was worth it – We tried the plain ($3) and cheese ($4) pancake balls. There was quite a wait for the cheese ones but it was worth it. Each order is 6 balls. A bit pricey but it's tasty. The store front is take-out, and no more than a stand with a little standing room (no seating) inside for up to 6 people.
Octopus Balls! – This is a little find in the East Village studded with Japanese restaurants. Otafuku serves Japanese street food/snacks that you would not find in a sushi bar. Try the takoyaki [octopus balls] made of bits of octopus, red ginger, and scallions in a baked batter ball (a treat to watch it being made) similar to the Danish abelskivers. Okonomiyaki (cabbage pancake with your choice of fillings) is another recommendation. Combination platters are available. Reasonable prices.
By the way, Otafuku is the brand name of a condiment sauce similar to ketchup used on the takoyaki.
Sign in with Facebook Sign in with Facebook to see what your friends are up to!
Do you have a review of Otafuku on your blog? If you include the Citysearch image link (shown below) in your post, we'll automatically link to your review from the business profile page. Here's how our Linkback system works:
The Linkback system is free and automatic. It's really that easy.
To link to our business profile page, copy the html below to your web page.