More than soft serve: Taiyaki NYC puts a twist on a traditional Japanese treat

A new dessert has driven New York City into a frenzy. You’ve seen it on social media, ie. instagram: soft serve ice cream in a fish-shaped waffle cone.

The NYC shop that serves this dessert constantly has a line out the door.

“Waffles is a universal dessert, right, no matter what shape or form. We also have ice cream. Ice cream is also a universal dessert. When we put those things together, you know it’s going to be a great idea,” said Tom Yang, co-founder of Taiyaki NYC.

This is actually a twist on a traditional Japanese street vendor snack, taiyaki, which are fish-shaped cakes filled with red bean paste or custard.

“We wanted to add a different twist to it. We wanted to add soft serve ice cream. That’s a big part of American culture. So combining American culture and traditional Japanese culture,” said co-founder Jimmy Chen.

The flavors of the ice cream are Japanese influenced. In addition to vanilla and chocolate, there’s matcha, or green tea, and black sesame.

The shop owners, both in their early twenties, worked hard to make their waffle recipe perfect.

“After going through, let’s say, 100 recipes, we tested for two months, every day. Our recipe is very traditional, but we’ve adjusted it so that it’s crispier on the outside but softer on the inside. So it fits that American palette,” said Yang.  

Their hard work paid off. This new fusion version is loved by everyone.

The shop’s been open for only half a year but it’s gotten plenty of press and public recognition.


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