Adventures in Eating & Cooking
After my failed attempt to drag my friends to Cafe Zaiya last Thursday, Oniichan tried to make it up by bringing Hehebro and me to Teriyaki Boy in Times Square. Normally I wouldn’t feel that enthusiastic because Times Square restaurants are usually overpriced and give horrible service (like many restaurants in tourist centers). However, that day I was quite famished after school, and Oniichan said it was cheap.
After a bit of wandering and help from Oniichan’s sidekick, we found the place. From outside Teriyaki Boy appeared pretty clean and not too gaudy, a good sign.
When we got inside, what impressed me was the selection and the price. A box of sushi that would cost $5-6 elsewhere was $3 here. They sold various teriyakis, curries (including croquette curry), noodles, oyako-don (rice bowl mixed with chicken, egg, etc.), onigiri (riceball), daifuku (rice cake with filling), and salad. Their bentos (lunchbox) ranged from $6-10, about $5 cheaper than most places.
After spending five minutes deciding on an order, I ended up buying an Eel Teriyaki and two onigiris (salmon & tempura). i thought the eel teriyaki was pretty average. There is no doubt that Teriyaki Boy gives good teriyaki sauce, but the eel was on the small side and a bit too oily. It tasted like cheap eel sushi…I love eel sushi though, so I can’t say I didn’t enjoy eating it. I also liked their gingery Japanese salad dressing for the salad. It wasn’t that authentic, but it made Oniichan eat all his vegetables (which is even more rare than a mistake occurring in DNA replication).
I hated the onigiri!! Don’t get it!!!! If you want good onigiri, GO TO CAFE ZAIYA!!! Teriyaki Boy’s onigiri is way out of league compared to Zaiya’s fluffy rice, crispy nori (seaweed wrap), and fresh filling. Plus, Zaiya’s onigiris are bigger.
Let me explain why: In my opinion, rice is the most important part of the onigiri since it is the major constituent. However, Teriyaki Boy’s rice was rather dull. It was neither fluffy nor sticky. It was just… average, which isn’t bad, but inadequate for onigiri. Furthermore the nori seemed to be covered by a layer of oil, giving it a greasy fast-food taste. But what really disappointed me was the filling. Tempura is supposed to be crispy, but the shrimp tempura onigiri was on the soft side. Moreoever, I had saved the salmon onigiri for lunch the next day, and found it to have dried up, a phenomenon that never happened with any other onigiri I had saved.
Hehebro ordered the Chicken Curry, which I stole a bite of. The chicken was quite tender, but I disliked the curry. It was way too spicy to be Japanese curry (usually Japanese curry is thick, rich, and barely spicy), but not spicy enough for Indian curry. Basically, it was a psuedo-curry. I suppose it did have the basic Japanese-style curry flavor, but the numb aftertaste from the spice ruined it. On the other hand, Hehebro felt it wasn’t spicy enough, and added a massive amount of hot sauce to it. It depends on what you prefer.
Having come to Teriyaki Boy before, Oniichan chose the best dish of the day: Chicken Teriyaki with Shumai. The chicken had the tenderness of Hehebro’s chicken curry, but it was bathed in Teriyaki Boy’s delicious teriyaki sauce instead of its pseudo-curry. According to Oniichan, the shumai however, tasted like the frozen kind you can buy at the supermarket.
Grade: B-, but value is good
Conclusion: Times Square food is below average compared to the rest of NYC, environment is bad, food is average, very cheap, HORRIBLE ONIGIRI; if you ever go, get the Chicken Teriyaki!!