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Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls, are a popular street food in Japan made of deep-fried batter filled with chopped octopus.
Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls, are a popular street food in Japan made of deep-fried batter filled with chopped octopus. (Daniel Betancourt/Stars and Stripes)
Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls, are a popular street food in Japan made of deep-fried batter filled with chopped octopus.
Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls, are a popular street food in Japan made of deep-fried batter filled with chopped octopus. (Daniel Betancourt/Stars and Stripes)
Eight, a takoyaki shop in Yokosuka, Japan, offers a variety of flavors, including bacon and cabbage, ginger garlic poke, Chinese chive and dried shrimp, kimchi and cheese, corn and bacon, and tofu.
Eight, a takoyaki shop in Yokosuka, Japan, offers a variety of flavors, including bacon and cabbage, ginger garlic poke, Chinese chive and dried shrimp, kimchi and cheese, corn and bacon, and tofu. (Daniel Betancourt/Stars and Stripes)
Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls, are a popular street food in Japan made of deep-fried batter filled with chopped octopus.
Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls, are a popular street food in Japan made of deep-fried batter filled with chopped octopus. (Daniel Betancourt/Stars and Stripes)
Eight is a humble eatery near Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, with eight flavors of takoyaki on its menu.
Eight is a humble eatery near Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, with eight flavors of takoyaki on its menu. (Daniel Betancourt/Stars and Stripes)

A 10-minute drive from Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo, will land you at an eatery serving up variations of takoyaki from a small and homey shop.

Eight is a humble eatery in the Yokosuka neighborhood with flavors packed in little bites. The name is a wonderful play off of an octopus having eight limbs, but it’s also the number of takoyaki variations available on the menu.

Takoyaki, or grilled octopus balls, are a popular street food in Japan made of deep-fried batter filled with chopped octopus.

The space at Eight is small enough for one family to dine in. Takeout is also an option.

The owner is a friendly woman who manages it on her own. No English menu was available on my first visit, but the second time around, she handed me one completely translated.

Over both visits I sampled seven of the eight varieties: plain octopus, bacon and cabbage, ginger garlic poke, Chinese chive and dried shrimp, kimchi and cheese, corn and bacon, and lastly, tofu.

I highly recommend kimchi and cheese, corn and bacon, and ginger garlic poke as they were delightful bites. The tofu selection is not bad, but it can be a bit lumpy.

This shop was also my first experience with takoyaki in Japan, and I was not disappointed. The light crispy texture on the outside with the gooey center delighted all my taste buds. Depending on the type I was eating, I was getting added crunchy or creamy textures mixed in, so every bite was unique.

The octopus was just the right amount, and was chewy and fresh. The various sauces with a topping of either bonito flakes or sesame seeds further enhanced the basic flavors. Well-seasoned and elegantly presented, there was no better option for my first introduction to takoyaki.

The takoyaki is served three pieces to a stick and each order comes with two or three sticks. Prices range from 450 to 500 yen (about $4.15 to $4.60). Tea and drinks are available as well.

The shop provides hand sanitizer at the entrance with outside seating for those who wish to wait patiently while enjoying the weather or keeping their distance.

betancourt.daniel@stripes.com Twitter: @Beta_Stripes

Location: 3-13 Uwamachi, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 238-0017

Directions: A 10-minute drive from Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan.

Hours: Open daily, except Mondays, from noon to 6 p.m.

Prices: 450 yen to 500 yen

Dress: Casual

Information: 046-823-7190

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