Chiyoda Brings Bento Boxes to You
It is not often I will write about food delivery. I admit, it is probably something everyone would be interested in reading about (whether or not your favorite place delivers), but I don’t write about it because I never order delivery. I don’t believe in it. I am a staunch advocate of taking time to get out of the office for a little bit. You’re supposed to get a lunch break. You need a lunch break. Use your lunch break. (Even it’s just to walk around for 20 minutes.)
But like all rules, there are some exceptions. For example, when delivery is made to be fun! Like in the case of Chiyoda Sushi. Chiyoda is a place I’ve written about a few times. Along with Yagura & Cafe Zaiya, it makes up the Japanese Trinity on 41st btw. Mad+5th., my favorite block for Midtown Lunch’ing. Unfortunately it’s a little too far for me to make it down there too often- but last week, I discovered (thanks to an email tipster), that they have delivery- and it’s fun!
Chiyoda has a special online delivery menu that is really fun to look at, even if you don’t want to order. Each day they offer three different lunch boxes, and the schedule for the entire week is posted here (http://www.chiyodasushiny.com/bento_en.html). But it gets better. Not sure what one of the items is? Each morning, you can click on the box and it will show you a picture of the item. How cool is that?
The boxes range in price from $6 to $8 and there is no delivery charge, or tax- the only requirement is that your office orders a minimum of 3 boxes. Don’t have two friends who want to order weird Japanese boxed lunches… there is still one more way to get your bento fix- and it’s the best part of the whole story.
The Chiyoda guy on the street with Bento boxes, after the jump…
On 50th St. btw. 6+7th there is a building with so many Japanese businesses that they have a delivery guy assigned just to that block. Each day between 11:30am and Noon, he sets up shop outside the building and everyone who ordered delivery (you must do it before 10am) comes outside to pick up their boxes.
But here’s the best part. He brings extra! So, if you don’t feel like calling in advance, or you forget, or one day you’re walking along in that area and don’t know what to eat, you can just stop by, and see what he’s got. If you like what you see, he’ll sell you a box right on the street. Let’s say you work in that area, but you don’t want to leave it to chance (they can run out). Call ahead and place your order- then let them know you’ll pick it up outside the building on 50th st. btw. 6+7th. That way you don’t have to order the 3 box minimum. It’s a fool proof scheme!
When I tried Chiyoda’s delivery thing, I didn’t want to leave it to chance- so I called and ordered the $7 Higawari box, which on this day was Pork w/ Ginger. I told the lady on the phone, I would pick it up from the guy on 50th. At 11:45am they called to let me know he was down there, so I could go and pick up my $7 box. Here’s what I got:
It wasn’t hot, and it’s not the most filling lunch in the world- but it was very satisfying. Like any authentic Bento Box, it was a perfect balance between rice, meat, vegetables and pickles. Not too heavy, but not so light and healthy that it was boring. I can’t wait to see what they are serving today!
THE + (What someone who likes this place will say)
- If you love Chiyoda, but don’t work near 41st btw. Mad+5th it’s a great way to get their food without traveling too far
- It is a totally authentic Japanese boxed lunch
- At $6-8 it is reasonably priced, considering you don’t have to pay tax or delivery charge
- If you work near 50th btw. 6+7th you don’t have to order the minimum 3 boxes. You can just pick up your one box from the guy who stands there between 11:30 and Noon.
- If you don’t want to order, or miss the cut off time (10am), you can just go by the 50th St. delivery location. He almost always has a few extra boxes for sale for stragglers.
THE – (What someone who doesn’t like this place will say)
- Some of the ingredients and bentos are a little too weird for the average American
- Because of the delivery, it doesn’t seem as fresh. Hot stuff isn’t hot, and I know some people would feel weird about eating raw fish from a box sold on the street (I however, am not one of those people. It it’s good enough for the Japanese people who work in Midtown, it’s good enough for me!).
- If you are not going to pick it up on 50th, than you have to order a minimum of 3 boxes to take advantage of the delivery.
- You must place your order before 10am so they can map out their delivery route
- The delivery guy on 50th St. is usually only there from 11:30am to Noon(sometimes later, but you’re taking a chance), so it may be too early for some people to eat lunch
- It may be illegal. There was another bento box delivery guy on 50th btw. 6+7th, who seemed very nervous to talk to me. He wouldn’t even tell me where the restaurant he was from was located.
- I am super fat and need more to eat. This isn’t Japan!
Chiyoda Sushi Delivery, 212-889-1260 or just go to 50th btw. 6+7th and see what they’ve got. For a complete weekly menu go to http://www.chiyodasushiny.com/bento.html