Gindaco & Croissant Taiyaki

Special thanks to Gindaco & Croissant Taiyaki for extending this food review invitation.

There is no shortage of eateries at Level 1 of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur. Opened last month are Gindaco (築地銀だこ) and Croissant Taiyaki (クロワッサンたい焼). Both are Japanese franchise brands. The colocation concept of this eatery is similar to that of Yoshinoya Hanamaru.
Gindaco specializes in takoyaki (たこ焼き), a type of ball-shaped snack originally from Osaka (大阪). Made from wheat flour batter, takoyaki is filled with diced octopus (蛸), tempura crumbs (天かす), green onion and beni shoga (pickled ginger, 紅生姜). Takoyaki balls are cooked in a griddle with round molds similar to those for local kaya balls. Each piece needs to be turned regularly so that it is cooked evenly and acquires a spherical shape.
This Gindaco outlet offers 4 different flavors of takoyaki. They differ in terms of dressings and toppings, but the takoyaki itself is prepared in the same way. Each flavor comes in 3 sizes: 4, 6 or 8 pieces. To enjoy this snack in its authentic form, it is advisable to go for the Original Takoyaki (たこ焼き, RM15.90 for 8 pieces) during one's first visit. Takoyaki balls are dressed with savory sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce, plus dried bonito flakes (鰹節) and green seaweed (青海苔).
Another crowd favorite is Teritama Takoyaki (てりたまマヨネーズたこ焼き, RM16.90 for 8 pieces). This version features takoyaki balls being dressed in creamy egg salad, mayonnaise and teriyaki (照り焼き) sauce. Sprinkles of seven-flavor pepper (七味唐辛子) provide subtle spiciness without being overpowering. Like the original version, Teritama Takoyaki is also topped with dried bonito flakes and green seaweed.
Cheese Mentaiko Takoyaki (チーズ明太子たこ焼き, RM10.90 for 4 pieces) is a popular choice especially among the ladies. The pink-colored Japanese mayonnaise is mildly spicy and is infused with cod roe. Meanwhile, mozzarella cheese is torched briefly in order for the cheese to melt slightly. There are also light sprinkles of grated parmesan cheese and parsley on the takoyaki balls.
As for Negidako Takoyaki (ねぎだこたこ焼き, RM9.90 for 4 pieces), the toppings are shredded daikon, green onion, dried bonito flakes. Since the toppings are dry, Negidako Takoyaki is served with a small cup of tempura dipping sauce.
Besides takoyaki, Yakisoba (焼きそば, RM14.90) is also on the menu. Made from buckwheat flour, soba (そば) has firmer texture compared to ramen (ラーメン) or udon (うどん). Soba is fried on a hot griddle, using yakisoba sauce and teriyaki sauce as flavoring. Chicken, omelette and cabbage and are added afterwards. The serving of yakisoba is garnished with green seaweed, bonito flakes and beni shoga.
As for iced drinks, Peach Green Tea (RM3.50) is the choice today. Other choices are Jasmine Green Tea and Apple Green Tea.
Moving on to Croissant Taiyaki, the specialty here is a type of pastry called taiyaki (鯛焼き). To prepare taiyaki, batter is cooked in a waffle iron with fish-shaped molds. Taiyaki usually contains some kind of sweet filling like red beans, but savory types are not unheard of. This popular street food has also spread to neighboring Korea where it is known as bungeoppang.
Unlike the typical recipe, the taiyaki here borrows elements from croissant so that the pastry becomes puffy and crispy, as opposed to being doughy. As a result, taiyaki is best enjoyed when warm so that it retains its distinctive crispiness.
Azuki Red Bean (あずき, RM7.50) is the classical version that most people know and love. At the same time, Chocolate (チョコレート, RM7.50) flavor also enjoys high popularity. For something savory, Ham & Cheese (チキンハムとチーズ, RM7.50) is a sound choice indeed. Meanwhile, Vanilla Custard (バニラカスタード, RM6.50) and Green Tea Custard (グリーンティーカスタード, RM6.50) versions contain custard that have been injected into the middle of the pastry.
If you love ice cream, you cannot go wrong with Red Bean & Matcha Ice Cream (抹茶アイスクリーム, RM8.50). Taiyaki is cut open and is then filled with red bean paste and matcha ice cream. This dessert-like snack is served in a small box for easier carrying and consumption.
The menus of Gindaco and Croissant Taiyaki are entirely pork-free. Although the number of dining tables is limited, this shortcoming is compensated by the fact that most of the food here can be consumed on the go.

Name: Gindaco (築地銀だこ) & Croissant Taiyaki (クロワッサンたい焼)
Address: 1.13.01, Level 1, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, 168, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
Contact: N/A
Business hours: 10:00am-10:00pm
Website: Click here, click here
Coordinates: 3.14859 N, 101.71305 E
Directions: Gindaco and Croissant Taiyaki are both located at Level 1 of Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, just adjacent to of the entrance to Pavilion Elite. The mall provides multi-storey parking.

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