Monday, December 29, 2014

Takio Ikayaki: Taiwanese Giant Squid Galore


Taiwan Street Snacks in Malaysia






Taiwan is famous for their street food snacks and I have seen many times in tv food shows that one of popular Taiwan street snacks happens to be the giant whole squid that is deep fried and also served in many other various flavours. And yet, I have not tasted one till recently.


A friend recommended that I try Takio Ikayaki at Berjaya Time Sqare recently. Takio Ikayaki is a popular franchaise that sells Taiwanese street snack focusing on the giant squid and stuffed fresh squid with Spanish seafood baked rice. Takio is highly popular all over Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai and Guangzhou while it only started in Malaysia in 2011. In fact, it is the only Taiwan chain in Malaysia selling this specialty Taiwan seafood street food.

Takio Ikayaki takes on the kiosk structure and has kiosk in Klang Valley, Penang and Perak currently. Since their speciality focus on Taiwan street food, most customers do take-away rather than dine-in. I visited one of their kiosks in Berjaya Times Square with my family one Sunday and enjoyed a quick snacking by their small dine-in counter beside the kiosk.


We checked out their menu and saw offerings of giant squids prepared few ways, BBQ shrimp and soft shell crab. The menu is small but sufficient in terms of street food snacks. Located at the 3rd floor in Tiny Taipei, Takio Ikayaki was pretty much bustling with business as many make quick stops for these gargantuan squids the Sunday morning that I was there.


There are basically five signature snack items at Takio with another two additional options of rice bowl and drinks. There are also some special sauces available to go with the seafood snacks. We quickly ordered some Ice Lemon Tea while we waited for our snacks.


There was a big tray of fresh squid that was being prepared by the staff and I just couldn’t help stare in awe. These are like the biggest squids I have ever seen.


Here’s another photo of their staff cutting up the giant squid after being cooked. Besides squid, there is shrimp and soft shell crab too.






Our first snack arrive, looking pretty delectable since I happen to like squid tentacles very much, more so than the squid body as I like the chewy texture of the tentacles. The Golden Squid Head is perfectly encrusted in a golden crispy batter. Light sprinklings of seasoning on the tentacles are the unique peppery flavours that most Taiwanese deep fried food is seasoned with. One gets a strong and robust peppery savory flavour when munching on these tentacles. This one is very enjoyable for the price of RM6.50 ala carte.


Next up, what I came for specifically, was the Deep Fried 25cm Squid. Not that I was measuring but the size of the giant squid is mind-boggling at sight. It’s bigger than my hand. There is a lot of crunchy and chewy textures so be prepare to get some jaw exercise. The flavours echo the tentacles. One can have these spicy or non-spicy. The body of the squid is pretty thick and has a good firm bite while the tentacles have more of a chewy note. It makes good snacking if you are a fan of squid and is priced at RM8.50 each a la carte or RM10.90 each set.


The next squid dish was Ikameshi, fresh squid stuffed with Spanish seafood baked rice, crumbed, deep fried and served with various sauces. We tried two sauces of Honey Mustard and Chili Tomato plus a plain Original one without any sauce.


These look like fat tornado or submarine at sight. It’s utterly cute and stuffed to the max. Out of the three, I like the Honey Mustard sauce as there is a nice balance of sweet and mustard notes that went well with the crispy squid and savory rice stuffing. The rice stuffing is a bit soft for my liking but it is nevertheless pretty much decent when savored together with the squid and sauce.



The Chili Tomato is average with a sweet and spicy note while the Original one without sauce was a tad dry. In my opinion, the Ikameshi taste better with sauces. These are RM8.90 a la carte or RM10.90 as a set.







BBQ Lazy Shrimp was coined that name because one can eat the whole shrimp without any peeling of its shells. These shrimps are not big in size and are nicely grilled with a sweet and sticky savory sauce.


I did enjoy the flavours of the smoky sauce on the shrimp. The shrimp itself is also nicely sweet and crunchy. One gets four for RM5.90 a la carte or RM7.90 each set.






The fifth snack is the Thai Style Soft Shell Crab, crumbed and deep fried with a drizzle of Thai chili sauce. A whole piece of soft shell crab goes for RM12.90 each and RM14.90 with set.







For a fuller note, there are two rice bowl options of Squid Head Value Bowl and Lazy Shrimp Value Bowl which has the squid tentacles or BBQ Lazy Shrimp on rice and served with a spicy soy sauce. These are RM6.50 a la carte or RM8.90 per set. The set option for all includes a drink available on that day.






Takio Ikayaki signatures make great snacking! The best part is you don’t have to travel all the way to Taiwan for a taste of the giant squid and stuffed squid, simply check out Takio Ikayaki at any of their outlets…



TAKIO IKAYAKI


Branches:
Klang Valley
One City Mall: B-1A(M)-11, 1A, Mezzanine Floor
Aeon One Utama: Ground Floor
Times Square: 3rd Floor TinyTaipei

Penang
Sunway Carnival Mall: LG-K8
Aeon Queensbay: Ground Floor
Aeon Bkt.Mertajam: Ground Floor

Perak
Aeon Taiping: Ground Floor



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