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Takoriki: Where champagne and takoyaki meet halfway

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A few years ago, Katashimo Winery in southern Osaka brought out Tako-cham, a limited-edition sparkling wine that, as is suggested by its name, is an ideal partner for takoyaki, the nation’s favorite batter ball.

While Katoshimo might have been the first winery to hit on pairing the high with the low, Takoriki, a bijou takoyaki restaurant, has been bringing together wine savants and takoyaki gourmands since 2010. And unlike Katashimo’s worthy offering, the sparkling wine at Takoriki is the real deal — champagne that is.

Takoriki is a tad unusual in that it’s only open from midday until 6 p.m. It’s located just off Karahori Arcade on the ground floor of a residential building, and features a wooden bar with easygoing music, making it more the pity that it’s a daytime-only establishment.

There’s an impressive takoyaki lineup ranging from regular to cheese to fried, served with tartar sauce or with omelette, and even takoyaki with gratin. Toppings run from regular to wasabi mayonnaise and soy sauce mayonnaise.

We sipped on a glass of dry Richard Cheurlin champagne and our host provided two plain takoyaki on the house. However you like your takoyaki topped, Takoriki takes this venerable dish up a notch — they’re delicate and so creamy that they fall off your chopsticks.

Besides champagne, there are a few wines available plus Heartland beer on tap. Takoyaki has never been so posh.

Closed Sun. and Mon.; Takoyaki from ¥350; Japanese menu, some English spoken.