I’m not going to lie: after having eaten my fill of sushi bakes during the peak of its craze, I thought I was completely satisfied—convinced that I was ready to move on from the hype.
But all it took was one tray of Takoyaki Bake to reel me back.
Yes, you’re reading that right: Takoyaki Bake—the widely popular Japanese octopus balls deconstructed and transformed into a sushi bake. As a lover of takoyaki, this dish immediately piqued my interest. I had never heard of any other local business fusing these two beloved Japanese snacks into one dish, so when I discovered it on The Kitchen MNL, I wasn’t about to let the opportunity to try it pass.
To say that I liked it would be an understatement. I was deeply impressed. Blown away, even! My eyes lit up the moment I took a generous bite, and I’ll tell you why: the octopus. I’m not talking about sliced up chunks of tentacles; I’m referring to whole octopi covering the entire area of the sushi bake.
Just imagine picking up a slice and seeing the delicious layers of rice, creamy kani mixture, bonito flakes, and whole octopus sitting pretty on top of your sheet of nori. It’s no wonder that my family and I managed to scrape the entire tray clean in one sitting.
This ingenious flavor was conceptualized by The Kitchen MNL owner Erwin Angelo Lim, who had been among the pioneers of the sushi bake craze in Manila, effectively establishing a recognizable brand identity online.
“I’ve always been a foodie at heart. Growing up, I was a chubby kid who loved to eat and cook different cuisines. As I grew up, I then translated that love for food into making business ventures that are food-related,” Erwin told When In Manila.
“We are very proud to say that our brand never stops innovating. Through the months, we continued to develop more variants to include to our menu—flavors that are uniquely ours and ideas that are original. Our products speak for themselves. Once you try it, you will never go back to the other brands.”
The Kitchen MNL delivers all around Metro Manila via their own courier, and to nearby places Rizal, Paranaque, Bulacan, Muntinlupa, and Cavite City via third-party couriers c/o the customer. One small tray costs PHP600 while a medium tray, serving 3 to 5 pax, costs PHP1,000. Check their social media pages to view their other products: The Classic (kani maki sushi bake), The Crunch (teriyaki salmon with eel sauce and panko crumbs), and The Craze (kani maki with scallops).