My favorite Japanese treat. Taiyaki literally means ‘baked sea bream’. But really, they’re these thick pancakes shaped like fish and filled with either custard or sweet red bean paste. I personally favour the custard, but the beans aren’t bad either. Sometimes you also see them being sold just as circles (kind of like the pancake version of a pizza pocket). My favorite part is biting into them when you first get them. This one place where I usually go (a little bakery in the Dojomonzen shopping arcade) keeps them hot in cast iron moulds until you order them. I really like biting into the warm pancake and tasting the super hot custard. It’s like delicious lava. It’s so good. Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure the circle-versions can’t be called ‘taiyaki’, because, well, they don’t look like fish. Whenever you see the circle versions at bakeries, normally they’re just listed on the menu as クリーム (cream) or カスタード (custard). So to order one, you’d say something like “クリームをひとつお願いします。” (One cream please).
Anyway, if you ever go to Japan, you should definitely try them. You can find them in most Japanese-style bakeries, or being sold at festival stalls.