It’s famous but invisible.
You won’t even see it unless you actually know it’s there. But if you have eyes for food, you’d see the circular cakes before you even notice the sign.
The first time I saw the cakes, I got really excited. The “Japanese cakes” sold in the Philippines were mostly on the tough and barely-any-custard side, but there I was seeing authentic imagawayaki (or obanyaki in Kansai). When I first saw the cakes, I expected deliciousness.
And deliciousness I found.
The bread was tender, the filling was flavorful but not overwhelming, and, for only 120-140 yen, I was surprised it took a lot of space in my stomach. But the other best part about Maido’s imagawayaki is they come in many flavors.
First, there’s the usual azuki (red bean paste) and custard, but they also have chestnut, chocolate, and matcha:
AND they also have cakes for every season and for some special holidays: yogurt for summer, sweet potato and curry for autumn, and pumpkin for Halloween. Yogurt is my favorite. It was the first cake I bought from Maido and I fell in love with the flavor. The combination of the yogurt and the batter was just PERFECT. I honestly can eat their yogurt imagawayaki every day for breakfast. Honestly, all their cakes are delicious but curry was just a little too…different.
Although yogurt might be one of their best cakes, I think their most popular is Gokaku. It has mochi in the middle surrounded with a lot of azuki. It is only available from December to January because it is specially for students who will take the entrance examinations in January or February. Entrance examinations are a BIG THING in Japan, which makes the gokaku a really special thing for many students (and their mothers).
Although I don’t know if gokaku works, I know that it’s delicious, and that’s all that really matters.