So I went around Manila and Quezon City searching for the Pinoy takoyaki. In this food trip, I tasted takoyaki by Gabuki, Musashi, Samurai, Ton Ton Tei and Kuya Chito’s. I remember eating my first pinoy takoyaki from Samurai more than ten years ago. It was good then. But now the balls shrunk and the “kulangot” size octopus seems to have vanished. The Pinoy takoyaki now consists more of the batter, vegetables and alternatives to octopus such as processed crab meat or squid. A new name replacing “takoyaki” should be invented for the Pinoy version with no octopus since “Tako” means octopus in Japanese. Other alternatives to octupus that the Pinoy should try are shrimp, scallops, mussels or even diced squid balls.
In my takoyaki tasting adventure, I became addicted to Kuya Chito’s Takuyaki at the LRT2 Recto Station. I think this is a Pinoy version of Takoyaki. Observed that they call it "Takuyaki" not Takoyaki.
Kuya Chito’s version of takoyaki are balls made with shredded vegetable fillings (I noticed some noodle fillings also) and no octopus. The baked takoyaki is drizzled with mayo, topped with chicken, fish, pork (or beef?) flakes and spicy (which I always choose) or sweet and sour sauce. Wow! The takoyaki was crispy outside and the vegetables also inside were crunchy. The spicy sauce mixed with mayo makes you eat more. One serving is not enough after eating Kuya Chito's Takuyaki unlike the other pinoy versions (Gabuki, Musashi and Samurai) - Nakakaumay because of the sauce. It's the sauce and the pork (or beef?) shavings that make Kuya Chito's unique from the others. Three balls cost P24.00. If you prefer the authentic Japanese taste and sauce, Kuya Chito’s is not for you, but in my case, I love the taste of the crispy balls with the spicy sauce. My only negative observation about Kuya Chito’s is the way they cook their takoyaki is a bit messy (the vegetables scatter on the hot plate) because they use tongs instead of a pointed stick or metal (watch the video below on how takoyaki is prepared in Japan - very systematic. After watching this video, I'm sure you'll crave to eat one).