Excellent news for those who like fried octopus-filled dough balls and the warmth of the indoors; beloved 9th Street kiosk Otafuku is moving a couple dozen feet west to a storefront in which customers can wait for and devour their favorite Japanese street snacks in a well-heated space. Set to open sometime in the next two weeks at 220 East 9th Street, the new outpost features an open kitchen, a stand-up bar, adorable signage and an additional name, Medetai (according to owner Yo Katsuse, it will also be called Otafuku, in case you’re resistant to change).
Like the Otafuku kiosk, which has been delighting East Villagers with Japanese snacks for 12 years, Medetai will feature three delicious items: taiyaki (a fish-shaped cake filled with red bean paste), okonomiyaki (a pancake containing cabbage) and the aforementioned heavenly octopus balls, takoyaki. With this week’s brutal temperatures, the move could not possibly come at a better time.
“When it’s cold at night, we feel sorry for the customers waiting outside,” said Katsuse as he showed us around his nearly finished space. We imagine doughy seafood balls of goodness will only taste better when consumed in a climate-controlled environment.