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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Looks Like Fish, Tastes Like Chicken ― Inside a Waffle

Posted By on Wed, Mar 3, 2010 at 10:54 AM

click to enlarge Aww. - YUKOSY/FLICKR
Last Sunday we had a chance to try a new savory flavor from the only chibi taiyaki shop in the Bay Area, Sweet Breams. In Japan, chibi means "small" or "cute," tai means "sea bream," and yaki means "grilled" ― typically waffle pastries filled with sweet azuki bean paste. Regular flavors for Sweet Breams' fish-shaped cuties include azuki, vanilla custard, chocolate, Nutella, peanut butter (see secret menu link after the jump), and the special Catch of the Week.

We were pleasantly surprised by the new chicken flavor ― a chicken meatball inside maple-infused batter, a take on chicken and waffles; we hear a vegetarian chicken version will be available soon. Sweet Breams' miniature taiyaki are sold in half schools (six for $3.25) or schools (12 for $5.50), and you can mix and match flavors. Since it takes a while to make taiyaki, we suggest calling ahead for large orders (four or more schools). The delightful hot and crisp waffle minis can also be ordered as a soft -serve ice cream sundae topped with six fishies ($4.50).

Check out Sweet Breams' secret menu here. If you prefer no filling at all, ask for them Edo style. And if you want to punk the practical joker in your life, mention you want a batsu ("punishment" in Japanese) in your order, so they'll add an extra fish filled with wasabi paste. Perfect for April Fool's.

Sweet Breams 220 Second Ave. (at N. Ellsworth), San Mateo, (650) 347-3509; open Weds.-Sun. 12:30-8 p.m., Thurs.-Sat. 12:30-10 p.m.; closed Mon.-Tues.

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Luis Chong

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