Hongkong-style fried noodles topped with dumplings have been a popular snack in this part of the world for the past few years, what with little kiosks offering different variants of the dish on just about every street corner, train station, and food court. While it’s pretty much the same thing – white wheat noodles stir-fried with mung bean sprouts and topped with pork siu mai – seasoning to taste is, of course, facilitated by tubs of various sauces on the counter.
Some of these kiosks offer a standard-sized paper bowl of noodles, while others offer bigger portions with twice as many dumplings. And there are those that offer a bit of a twist by throwing a fried egg into the mix and including a Mexican-inspired salsa verde to the litany of sauces.
However, even those seriously addicted to this particular meal will start to wonder if there’s any way by which it could be improved or given a bit of a twist. Lo and behold, Maru Maru – resident takoyaki and yakisoba stall at Glorietta 4’s Food Choices – went ahead and gave it some Japanese flavor.
For P 85.00 (about US$ 2.00), you get a hefty helping of yakisoba with three takoyaki. The noodles are stir-fried with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil instead of being fried plain; carrots and shredded cabbage replace the usual bean sprouts and a dusting of nori finishes the dish.
The takoyaki are a bit on the small side, but they’re quite hefty with bits of real octopus and are made peppier than the usual octopus balls by the addition of benishoga (pickled pink ginger). Paired with the noodles, it breathes new life into a popular meal-on-the-go.