Snowya – Croissant Taiyaki
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St #103 · Los Angeles, CA 90012
Its eyes gaze northward, a vacant, lifeless expression plastered over its face. So is the life of Taiyaki. The cake shaped as a fish.
Taiyaki are those cute cakes popular in Japan. Traditionally prepared with pancake batter and prepared to resemble a fish, taiyaki is Japanese street food. Modernizing things up and riding the recent croissant hoopla (aka the cronut), Snowya mixes things up and employs croissant layers in their taiyaki. The result is a croissant taiyaki!
Pressed in a mold and cooked minutes after ordering to ensure freshness, the fish fills the room with a fragrant whiff of buttery goodness. The greasy croissant taiyaki come in rectangular form, inside a sleeve for easy holding. A couple of slivered almonds adorn the surface, delivering crunch and natural sweetness
There are a variety of flavors to stuff inside the fish cake – azuki red bean, custard, matcha cream, cream cheese, chocolate. Red bean is the most common choice for traditional taiyaki and probably the best as its sweetness is restrained. Custard and matcha cream are concentrated, but there is simply not enough to go around.
Texturally the croissant taiyaki is crisp around the edges, but chewy and squishy towards the center. Not characteristically croissant like, the taiyaki fails to rise. Puff pastry layers have simply been attached together after putting a spoonful of filling in the middle and left to toast for a few minutes. Surface sheets are browned and ultra-flaky, particularly around the imprint, the exterior scaly like an actual aquatic animal; the central layers are still on the raw end, resulting in a rubbery and doughy consistency.
There’s a buttery aroma that endures, but becomes overwhelmed with a salty aftertaste. When a croissant ends up saltier than an actual fish filet, you know something is wrong. It’s one thing to be aggressive with salt in a piece of meat as there are plenty of veggies and starches out there to compensate for it. It’s an entirely different story with a snack item or food that is supposedly a sweet treat.
The filling is centered in the fish’s body, between the thin sheets. Whichever flavor is chosen, the stuffing is rather meager. It’s a scant spoonful inside this little guy.
Each croissant taikoyai amounts to a whopping 3.75, a trio for 10.50. Truly a novel concept to make these traditional Japanese treats into croissants. But the salt level is hard to mask here and, for the price tag, more is expected – additional filling, better texture, and simply more surface! All in all, this taiyoki tries to be a croissant but falls short, like a tiny goldfish trying to act like a shark. The layers simply don’t rise like a rocket failing to take off. Head across the street for those famous two dollar imagawayaki treats for a much better value!