I'm tempted to buy takoyaki every time I see it, but I rarely do unless I'm with someone who'll share it. A snack should be just enough to tide you over until the next proper meal but the minimum serving of takoyaki is six; too many for me to eat and I don't like to waste food. Takoyaki are sometimes called octopus balls, a description that often lends itself to juvenile jokes. They're not made of octopus testicles, of course, but of a soft batter poured into a special pan with half-sphere indentations and put over heat. A chunk or two of octopus is added and, after the batter is set on the bottom and sides, it's turned over and cooked some more. I always request the brownest takoyaki, because they look more appetising than the pale and soft ones. After being taken out of the mould, the balls are usually brushed with a thick, glossy brown sauce, topped with katsuobushi (dried bonito shavings), dusted with powdered seaweed and drizzled with mayonnaise. Most vendors serve takoyaki with toothpicks, which on their own cannot bear the weight of the doughy balls. The trick is to spear each ball with two judiciously spaced toothpicks held in one hand, while the other hand holds the takeaway container under the mouth to catch any drips. Be careful when taking the first bite of takoyaki - they can be very hot inside.