Thursday, May 27, 2010
The Gundam Cafe opened in Akihabara several weeks ago, and the lines to get inside are still about an hour long. In part this is simply because the place can only seat 60 people at a time, and once they get inside the customers want to linger and talk with each other. However, the cafe also has a tai-yaki booth in the souvenir shop right next to the entrance. Tai-yaki is a kind of pancake batter poured into a waffle iron with shapes that look like sea bream ("tai") and with some kind of filling (traditionally red bean paste, but lately flavors like chocolate, caramel, pizza, German sausage, mango cream and green tea have become popular).
For Gundam-yaki, you put 100 yen coins into a ticket machine to select the flavors you want, then hand the ticket to the person at the window counter a couple of feet away. 400 yen ($4.40 USD) for two Gundam-yakis. One was red bean paste and mochi, the other was bacon, cheese and mayonnaise. Both were pretty good, but kind of pricey (one regular tai-yaki is between 110 and 150 yen depending on the filling.)