Taiyaki NYC – Chinatown

Behold, Instagram’s favorite. There is no doubt that at some point throughout your Instagram career, you have had a glimpse of ice cream… in a fish.

Not a real fish, of course. But rather, a nice aesthetic cone in the shape of a fish, with some swirling ice cream radiating off the top and a couple of nice decorative pieces protruding from the cone.

Located in Chinatown on Baxter Street, Taiyaki became quite a bit of a social media sensation this past year simply because it looks really damn good in pictures. And as we’ve all come to learn, millennials appear to thrive and strive to take a nice Insta.

Taiyaki is a relatively small place, with a modest white decor and a couple of benches for seating. Upon entry, you are able to see their menu, which features about 5-6 of their most popular ice cream options, as well as the option to build your own. By far the most popular option is to get ice cream inside of the aesthetic fish cone. I opted for the matcha and bean ice cream, which is apparently one of their most popular.

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They served me my ice cream before I could even put my wallet back into my bag. If you are planning to take an Instagram, be prepared to have your blood pressure through the roof as your slanted ice cream melts at 60mph. Yes, the cone is very attractive, and the swirl is very pleasant. It is definitely a very artsy cone, and it looks great in pictures, so I understand the obsession. The cone has an intrinsic curve to it that makes your ice cream feel as though it will fall to its death any minute now. I’m sure this intrinsic curvature may help with the prettiness of pictures, as it seems as though the ice cream is coming at you in some minor 3D fashion (maybe not — I’m not a photography major).

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Nonetheless, the cones were very attractive. I probably would’ve taken more pictures, including one of the cone outside of its white wrapper (so you could truly appreciate the fish), but at this point, I was scrambling with anxiety as my fish already started to melt before my very eyes. So I executed the bold move of well… just eating my ice cream.

The taste? Well, the ice cream is decently good. It is very mild, which I generally enjoy since ice cream is often too sweet. However, I felt like the ice cream lacked some depth in flavor, but maybe it was because I was rushing or full from dinner. There could have been more oomph. A slight kick. But no, it was just smoothly mild.

The best part by far is the cone. I thought the fish cone was purely for aesthetic purposes and would be some unpleasantly crunchy experience. But, it was pleasantly not this situation at all — it was very tasty with the right mix of crunchiness and softness. It was easily my favorite, and I would eat one right now. In addition, as if the cone wasn’t already good, they put a red bean paste at the base of the cone itself, and that makes it even better. So, I don’t know — Maybe I should just get a bunch of fish cones next time, with a bit of ice cream on the side (that sounds like heaven).

Overall, I would go back, but it was surely not an extraordinary experience. Yet, the pictures are nearly guaranteed to look stellar, except for the fact that you may become physically and mentally drained at the thought of taking pictures before the demise of your cone.