Monday, March 3, 2008

Lunch #32: Uwajimaya - Cooked To Order

Uwajimaya - Cooked To Order Snuggled betwixt the Steam-table Chinese food and the register of Chef Kenzo's not-so-good Japanese food lies a little nugget of UFC deliciousness. The Cooked-to-Order counter offers Udon, Donburi, and Meat-in-Window (MIW)... all of which looked delicious. Chef Kenzo was looking like a chump next to the ladies running this counter.

Uwajimaya - Cooked To Order, Seattle
Address: 600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Cuisine: Chinese: BBQ, Japanese: Noodles
Average rating: 3 chopsticks
Lunch date: 3/3/2008 @ 12:10:00
Time taken to be seated: 0 minutes
Time to take order: 1 minutes
Time for food to arrive: 10 minutes
Total lengh of meal: 33 minutes
Chopstix quality: Smoothed Wood
Do they use MSG?: ?
Where is the owner/chef from?: ?
Number of tables: 0
Number of occupied tables: 0
Number of business lunch tables: 0
Number of "local" tables: 0
Healthcode Score: 0
Links: Yelp!, Urbanspoon
Uwajimaya - Cooked To Order

Luncher: Emmett

Duck Combo PlateLunch: Duck Combo Plate - $8.50
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Emmett's Review

This place was a whole five feet from our last visit. We're making progress, I think. This place looked intriguing - lots of good stuff on the menu - duck, pork, soba, donburi. This has potential, I can feel it.

I went for the Duck Combo. It comes with 1/2 of a hanging duck, some orange duck sauce, some brown duck sauce, rice, and veggies. The duck was good - hot, tasty, and delcious. Though there was 1/2 a duck, there were lots of bones. I had a good time working on it, and there was enough to share. The rice was overcooked and mushy, and the veggies were average. Definitely a great choice for a quick fix of duck.

To accompany this duck, I chose Pocari Sweat. Nothing like the salty sweet sweat of a Pocari to wash down the duck. It's nice, like American sport drinks but less sweet.

I was giddy to head back to the store. There's all kinds of good shit you can buy at Uwajimaya. It mostly makes the trip worth it. Mostly. For this trip I went for some Xylish Hyper Cool gum. The first ingredient is Maltitol. The second ingredient was Salt. Salt. It was quite refreshing, in a kick you in the face sort of way, but it mellows out quickly and has a nice menthol taste.

Oh yeah, and if anyone can make sense of this crazy "Web Accessory" I found on the Xylish web site, please let me know.

Luncher: Geary

Oyako DonburiLunch: Oyako Donburi - $5.75
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Geary's Review

If you don't look carefully, you might even miss this place. The BBQ meats are fairly obvious, but there is much more to this middle station of the Uwajimaya Deli. Sandwiched between the prepared foods and Chef Kenzo on the east and the often crowded steam table on the west, the counter known as "Cooked to Order" has three distinct menus. There's the Chinese BBQ meats served in various lunch combinations, the "Cooked to Order" section of Sukiyaki and various forms of Donburi, and 14 different Noodle Bowls of Udon, Saba, and Ramen noodles.

I took a short right down the middle and went with the Oyako (chicken) Donburi, a classic Japanese dish with chicken, onions, and egg simmered together and then served over rice. And, as I waited, it was in fact cooked to order.

The donburi was good, but a bit bland. I've had more flavorful donburi, but generally it's an issue I have with many casual Japanese dishes. It's usually quickly solved with the liberal addition of some chili sauce (typically of non-Japanese origin like Sriracha), but all I saw available at the Cooked to Order counter was some Japanese red pepper powder, which never seems to do the trick. I considered sneaking across the food court and snagging some sauce from the Vietnamese place, but I ended up eating it as is. There was lots of food and it made a satisfying lunch.

Update: I learned the following day that the steam table next door has Sriracha.

Luncher: Adam

BBQ Pork and Roast Pork Combo PlateLunch: BBQ Pork and Roast Pork Combo Plate - $6.25
Rating: 3 Chopsticks

Adam's Review

This is Uwajimaya Food Court's (UFC's) "cooked to order" counter, but it's also their meat-in-window (MIW) counter. I'm a sucker for MIW, so I went for the BBQ Pork and Roast Pork Lunch Combo.

A more appropriate name for the Roast Pork probably would have been: "Roast Pork Fat with Skin." And get ready for this... it was delicious. I knew that I was going to have to run 10 miles after work just to burn the calories off (nevermind the impact it made on my arteries), but I couldn't stop eating the delicious morsels of blubbery goodness.

The BBQ Pork was good, and not too salty. The roasted meat tasted fresh, so I surmised that it was roasted in-house. Emmett confirmed the in-house roasting with the man behind the meat window.

The food here is typical MIW... nothing fancy. I felt really sad for my heart after eating this, so I have to drop my score down for this little place.

When in the UFC, this is not a bad option.

Luncher: Rob

Fried Bean Curd UdonLunch: Fried Bean Curd Udon - $5.45
Rating: 2 Chopsticks

Rob's Review

Not much to say about this little corner of the UFC. I had the fried bean curd udon, and while the broth and the noodles were fine, the fried bean curd was unpleasantly sweet. Some people may like sweet things in their soup, but I don't. As I slurped up the udon, I kept thinking to myself that a few steps away was Samurai Noodle with exponentially better noodle soup. Ah well. I also did not realize that complimentary bottles of Sriracha are available down by the Steam Table cash registers, and a few squirts of that would have been a nice addition to the broth.

Luncher: Michael

Beef SukiyakiLunch: Beef Sukiyaki - $5.95
Rating: 4 Chopsticks

Michael's Review

I never would have thought to try this place if it wasn't for the MSG 150. It's a tiny little window hidden behind some trash cans. And yet it is so awesome.

I've been craving more Beef Sukiyaki every day since we at there. I want more Beef Sukiyaki right now.

So the Beef Sukiyaki was really good. That's all I'm saying.

Uwajimaya - Cooked To Order Photos

Uwajimaya - Cooked To Order
Uwajimaya - Cooked To Order

BBQ Items
BBQ Items

Menu
Menu

Microwave
Microwave

Manapua - Hawaiian Buns
Manapua - Hawaiian Buns

BBQ Duck
BBQ Duck

Oyako (Chicken) Donburi
Oyako (Chicken) Donburi

BBQ Duck Combo Plate
BBQ Duck Combo Plate

BBQ Pork & Roast Pork Combo Plate
BBQ Pork & Roast Pork Combo Plate

Fried Bean Curd Udon
Fried Bean Curd Udon

Beef Sukiyaki
Beef Sukiyaki

Manapua
Manapua

Pocari Sweat
Pocari Sweat

Green Tea Wheat Crackers
Green Tea Wheat Crackers

Chocolate Ice Cream Pops
Chocolate Ice Cream Pops

Xylish Hyper Cool Gum
Xylish Hyper Cool Gum

Choco Baby
Choco Baby

CC Lemon
CC Lemon

Taiwan Coffee Wafers
Taiwan Coffee Wafers

03/10/07 - Fixed typos.
03/10/07 - Fixed photo of Emmett's lunch.

2 comments:

Holly said...

Okay, I can tell you what the Xylish thing is about. Once you click it, and the yen on the string comes down, it starts reeling off stereotypical "this is to get you hypnotized" words. Then it goes the the three characters repeated three per word bubble or so right? That's "nemui" which means "Sleepy" so it's putting you to sleep.

and then, once your screen is dark and you're relaxed and sleepy....XYLISH! Will awaken you.

or something like that

Geary said...

Thanks Holly!