Takoyaki is a Japanese street food (imagine a cross between a corn dog and a ping pong ball) favored by those who’ve, well, imbibed a bit more than is considered reasonable. Buki PDX brings this favorite late-evening snack to the Tidbit food cart pod.

Jack and William, Buki’s proprietors, discovered Takoyaki while they were living in Japan and exploring the Japanese culture after attending college at the University of Washington. They were fascinated by Japanese men in suits enthusiastically consuming plates of Takoyaki.

William and Jack of Buki PDX

Served as ping-pong-ball-sized spheres of fried wheat-flour batter (there is a pan made especially for creating Takoyaki), in a ‘boat’ made of bamboo, Takoyaki (tranlates as “grilled octopus) is traditionally filled with, octopus and covered with Japanese mayo, the thick, sweet, Takoyaki sauce and Benito flakes. Crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

Takoyaki on a plate

Buki PDX not only offers the traditional version of Takoyaki (that’s right, octopus) but also has a more western version on the menu which features a filling of sausage and cheese. This item is a collaboration with TidBit’s Stacy66 food cart. You can also get the Volcano version of the fried batter balls filled with kimchi and coated in spicy mayo.

Taiwanese sasparilla and Takoyaki form Buki PDX

Buki (pronounced boo-key) derives its name from the first two letters in bubble tea (a Taiwanese beverage proudly served at the cart) and the last two letters of Takoyaki and Taiyaki. By their reckoning, Jack and William say that Buki means “we are an über cool soulful food cart ‘Armed with Deliciousness.’”

Buki PDX can be found in the TidBit food cart pod which is located at SE 28th Place and Division. Listen as Jack and William talk with Steven Shomler and Ken Wilson about Takoyaki and bringing Japanese street food to Portlandia.