Teriyaki Experience - Mapleview Mall

Mall food. Mall Asian food to be exact. When I was a kid, that meant going to the only place in the food court that had Asian food and even then, the choices were limited to chicken balls and spring rolls. Nowadays, there are places that are Korean, Japanese, Thai...you name it, and it’s available while you shop! The choices are plentiful, which means that eating at a food court isn’t as boring as it used to be!

On somewhat of a healthy kick, I wanted to look for something that wouldn’t blow my diet out of the water but wasn’t a salad. I chose Teriyaki Experience because I figured steamed rice and stir-fry cooked in water (not oil) was one of the healthier choices available to me (though I won’t lie, the fries and burgers were staring me down pretty hard). 

Teriyaki Experience is a made-to-order establishment that throws whatever you order right on the grill that’s behind the glass, so you get to watch them make your food. I saw a sign for the Spicy Chicken and ordered that with rice (you could order it with noodles if you prefer) and a drink for around $8. Feeling brave, I asked for mine to be extra spicy in hopes that I could also clear my sinuses from this horrible cold I’ve been suffering from.

First they throw the meat on the grill and using two large flat spatulas, they toss it around a bit with some squirts of water. As it’s cooking, my rice was spooned into a plastic bowl and placed next to the grill. Once the meat was cooked, sliced onions, red and green peppers were tossed on the grill to slightly cook. Since I ordered the spicy dish, sauce was automatically ladled over the mixture to cook into the meat (usually they ask if you want sauce or not). Then, it’s all scooped up and over the rice and another generous ladle of sauce goes on top. At the end of the counter there are additional condiments you can add: hot sauce, sesame seeds and soy sauce. I gave it a good squirt of hot sauce and a healthy dose of sesame seeds to make it look pretty (I love sesame seeds).
The benefit of ordering a made-to-order meal such as this is that it comes to you piping hot – exactly how I love to eat my food. The first bite I had was a piece of chicken and vegetables with the sauce. Although hot in temperature, I did not find it to be extra spicy in the least, and I’m glad I added the extra hot sauce. To some, the spice may have been adequate, but I was hoping that extra spicy would have earned me some extra heat. Alas, it was not meant to be since the sauce tasted like a typical teriyaki sauce with extra black pepper thrown in. It was underwhelming to say the least. 

However, my biggest complaint was about the rice and its over-stickiness. Properly cooked rice should be sticky to a certain degree, but not so clumpy that it tastes like a big glob of mush with every forkful. You should still be able to see each individual grain and although it sticks to its fellow rice brothers and sisters, you should be able to distinguish one from the other. Unfortunately, the rice I received was none of this and I got a big bowl of gooey rice-like grains. I was so disappointed in the meal I ended up eating just the chicken pieces and being unable to finish the rest – made even more disappointing when I remembered how much I just paid for a few slices of chicken. 
Teriyaki Experience? More like Teri-yucky Experience. Next time, maybe that burger and fries isn’t such a bad idea after all, since this was an experience I would have rather passed on.


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