What's so special about a fried salty ball? Well, maybe Chef from South Park could give you a couple of reasons. Aside from that, we finally have a place in the GVRD where you can get some really good balls. Tenku Bakudanyaki to be exact. What? If you've ever had Takoyaki, you'll know what I'm talking about. Eat, Snap, Repeat and Ho Yummy have already posted some reviews on this place. Okay, where is this place? Um... It's a trailer in the middle of desolate parking lot on the corner of Elmbridge and Gilbert in Richmond. You heard right. This is a really odd setup in a really odd place. Didn't Chef sell his salty balls out of a concession stand at a festival? Well, think of Tenku as a stand all by it's lonesome.
Today, after Dim Sum at Shiang Garden, we headed over to that very parking lot in search of some tasty balls. So we pulled up and I decided to switch spots to park a little closer to the trailer. I stepped out of the car and began snapping some photos and low-and-behold, Ben (Chowtimes) pops out of his car eating a bakudanyaki! However, he had his on a plate. I never knew they served it on a plate, because they usually come in a "Chinese-type" takeout container. Well, Ben is a very smart man. He said that all the pictures he's seen were of the bakudanyaki in the box and no one could really see anything. So he brought his own plate! Genius!
So what exactly are these balls that are attracting so much attention? Essentially, they are a combination of cabbage, shrimp, octopus, squid, sausage, quail egg and mochi (rice cake) rolled up into a ball. The ball is then pan-grilled (a bit healthier than frying) and topped with a variety of toppings a la Japadog. If you've ever had takoyaki at a Japanese restaurant, the bakudanyaki are very similar, except 5 times bigger. It's not enough for a meal; but it does make a pretty good snack. Being that there is mochi in it, it's a bit difficult to eat with a chopstick, so prepare for some messy balls. Viv and I shared a Chili Mayo and it does have a bit of spice. The bakudanyaki itself was packed with all the aforementioned ingredients and everything was fresh. It's certainly something a bit different and enjoyable to eat. Each bakudanyaki costs $5.00 including tax. To me, that is a fair price for what you are getting. I think if they had a stand at the PNE (much like Chef at the festival), there would be a lot of people enjoying these salty balls.
- It's certainly unique in the GVRD
- It tastes pretty good
- Has the "odd food, odd location" appeal
- Weird location, not close for a lot of people
7100 Elmbridge Way
11:30am - 9:30pm (7 days a week)