Armed with a strong passion for high-quality food, our founder, Takeda Yohei left his native Japan for Singapore to pursue his dreams of introducing Japanese Takoyaki to Singaporeans via the Takopachi brand name. During that time in 1994, he was the only person with the foresight and courage to look beyond convention and believe that Takoyaki could be popular outside of Japan. This was despite his being relatively young at 26 years old. Everyone else had felt that this was an exclusively-Japanese snack that could not be accepted by people from other cultures and with different tastes. However, trusting his instinct and vision, Yohei took his big step out and became the pioneer of Takoyaki outside of Japan. Acquiring a pushcart at Clark Quay, he took his first step towards introducing the Takopachi blend of takoyaki to the rest of the world, and has never looked back since.
There are many different flavours of takoyaki at Takopachi, namely bacon&cheese, prawns and octopus. All three of them taste really good, but my favourite is definitely the octopus, hands down. The little chewy pieces of octopus give texture to the fragrant takoyaki balls. You can watch the staff cook your takoyaki balls through the glass panel, which makes you anticipate your snack even more while you're waiting for it to be served piping hot to you.
However, it seems like the standard of these delicious little balls of goodness have drastically dropped. Sometimes the food is served cold, and sometimes the takoyaki balls are a little uncooked, with some of the batter still dripping inside. It's such a disappointment, because these takoyaki balls are one of my favourites. Hopefully they will improve the quality of the food, if not I'll probably stop buying these takoyaki balls which were once oh-so-delicious and affordable.
At the outlet, you have a choice of three types of tako-balls, namely the octopus, the prawn as well as the bacon and cheese. I have always eaten the octopus takoyaki because you simply cannot go wrong with them! Though when I was frequenting the outlet today, a fair number of people also purchased the bacon and cheese balls as well. The takoyaki will come in little boxes of three, retailing at $2.50 per box, there is usually a generous helping of fish flakes added in to give extra flavouring and texture as well as a choice of mayonnaise.
The queue at the Takashimaya outlet varies, sometimes there may be a long queue wrapping around the stall, or sometimes if you are fortunate enough, you can just straight away order up a box at the cashier! However in my experience, even with the longest of queues you will only be lining up for about five minutes or slightly more as they are quite efficient. Plus, the stall has a glass panelling where customer can view the takoyaki balls being made on the spot! I have even seen some slacked-jaw Japanese tourists busy snapping away on a camera of the gangly teenager manning the takoyaki-making station!
There was no line when I first went to buy my takoyaki balls, however there was a eight minute wait for the octopus ones because they were still in the midst of making them. However, they are definitely worth the wait as when you get them they are still steamy and fluffy! Personally, I am not a huge fan of the fish flakes, however if you take them together with the takoyaki, it usually serves as a slight flavouring and texture to the fluffy exterior of the takoyaki. The takoyaki itself is very fluffy and practically melts in your mouth as you take a bite out of it. The octopus is also very fresh as well and the ginger bits they mix in with the takoyaki paste provides a lilting aromatic waft with each bite!
All in all, if you want to take a food break from all that shopping, do head over to Takopachi to try their takoyaki balls. If you are as lucky as I am, you may even get them straight from the heating pan!
When I patronize the stall, I will always buy the bacon and cheese balls. I also love that they are generous with their sauces and fish flakes. However, sometimes I get turned off by the unsold takoyaki balls stacked in the pan, which have obviously been lying there for quite some time. To avoid this, I will usually head to the busy stall situated in Takashimaya basement to eat 'fresh' takoyaki balls.
All in all, a great place to go if you're craving for a small snack!
I used to frequent Takopachi every week or so three years ago. That was probably the peak of Takopachi, as the takoyaki at that time was definitely of a higher standard - crisp on the outside, warm and tasty on the inside.
The takoyaki from Takopachi nowadays, although warm on the outside, but they definitely lack in crispiness. The inside of the takoyaki is usually undercooked and oddly soggy, and the ingredients can be cold at times.
The standard of food from Takopachi has dropped so drastically over the years that it is now merely comparable to that sold at Pasar Malams. The prices at Takopachi have also been rising, and such higher prices just aren't worth the current taste of the takoyaki anymore.
I frequently see stacks and stacks of takoyaki piled on top of each other when I pass by Takopachi. Perhaps that is a clear indication of how (un)popular it has become.
Though yes, there is definitely a price increase with regards to inflation, however I still think that their takoyaki is still value for money.
Served piping hot, the outer layer of the takoyaki is of a thickness just right-- crisp too. Often the takoyaki I have eaten before has the outer layer too thick, some "flour-y" even. Not to mention the lack of fillings. However, this was never the case for Takopachi.
You dont even have to request for it, they give lots of the flakes too!
The original tako is a little crispy on the outside, with the inner flour still piping hot. The mayo and bbq sauce mix adds flavour to the tako balls, but too much of it spoils the whole taste. I was always amused by the way the flakes start dancing until i realised it was just the heat causing that effect. The only setback is that the filling is really miserable. It is only one small slice of octopus or ham, i guess this are just additional and the main thing is the tako balls.
The takos used to be 3 for $2, and with times, the price has slowly increased and is now 3 for $2.5, but at the same time, i think the balls have shrink in size as well. Frankly, I think it is a snack that is slowly increasingly expensive but for the original taste of tako, 2.50 is still not expensive.
Going at $2.50 for 3 octopus balls (you can choose flavours like Bacon&Cheese, Original, Prawn), I believe it is affordable. The size is enough to fill your mouth and there is always a generous serving of fish flakes on top of the octopus balls. I used to think those fish flakes were alive as they tend to crumple and move around, how silly of me!
You might have to wait a few mins sometimes if they are still cooking the takoyakis. However, it means that you are getting freshly cooked ones! It tastes best when it is piping hot, especially the Bacon&Cheese one as the gooey cheese is delicious.
Takopachi is one of the more famous takoyaki outlets in Singapore, and for good reason, given its history. I've always found the ingredients they use fresh, and when I went down for a tasting the other day, it was no exception. Be prepared for queues though, they have earned their reputation, and customers are aware of it.
Definitely worth your time and money.
Personally, I feel that the Octopus balls are the best followed by Ham & Cheese. I rated ambience a 3 as it is a small stall that sells take-away Tako balls. Service also differs from outlet to outlet but for the one at Ngee Ann City I was made to wait about 10 minutes during peak hour for my order. The staff were polite but did not apologize for making me wait.
Overall, a snack that I'll eat once every few months.