Hibachi Heaven Is A Welcome Addition To The Japanese Food Truck Scene

Is 2012 the year of the Japanese Food Truck? Between Domo Taco, Okadaman and now Hibachi Heaven, we have been blessed with a plethora of good new Japanese food options that extend far beyond bentos and sushi. When I first heard about Hibachi Heaven back in June, I was excited, because flat-top cooking is very food truck friendly. Then, when I read Andrea’s first look from when they first opened, I was a little underwhelmed. Finally, I found the truck in Midtown the other day and decided to try for myself.

The team running the truck work conveyor belt-style, similar to the way I’ve seen Korilla do it. There’s a guy cooking on the flat top in the back, another dude taking orders and scooping pre-cooked food into containers and a third administering sauce and taking payment. It was very efficient. I ordered shrimp with fried rice ($9), and I requested half with yum yum sauce and half with wasabi mayo. The wasabi-infused mayo (green sauce in the picture above) was way tastier and more original than the yum yum sauce (pink sauce on the bottom), which was reminiscent of the spicy mayo you get in sushi rolls. Bland, boring.

I was happy to count 12 nice-sized shrimp on the plate, which seems very fair for $9. My shrimp may have been a tad over cooked, which is not surprising since they were sitting in a container for who knows how long waiting to be served. In fact, I would have been more surprised if they were perfectly cooked. The sauteed veggies included onion, cabbage, mushrooms, carrot, and broccoli. All the veggies were nicely caramelized.

The fried rice was pretty ho-hum … that is, until you’re able to unearth some that is burnt, and suddenly the rice becomes great. Yes, some foods are better burnt, and fried rice is definitely on the list. I wish I got more of the crispy bits — I would try requesting it if I were you, although I’m not sure if that’ll get you anywhere.

Hibachi Heaven is usually on 45th & 6th on Wednesdays, but you should check their twitter or the ML Twitter Tracker before heading out.

3 Comments

  • I wish I could say I had the same good experience. After their tweets exclaimed things like “we have two windows, no long lines” and “come by, you won’t be disappointed”, there was one window, a pretty long line and I was in fact disappointed. I waited on that long line for a shrimp bowl, and when I ordered it, they were out of shrimp. I understand it happens, but please indicate that somewhere so we can see it and not waste time. Now that I’ve already devoted 15 minutes to this truck, I had to get something. I got the tofu bowl with fried rice and wasabi mayo, and after numerous attempts to figure out who ordered what, between me and a few other people behind me, I finally made it back to the office to try it out.

    It kind of was a mushy, salty mess. The rice was blah, like you mentioned, but I do wish there was a little more of it. Maybe I should have gotten less veggies, more rice. The tofu was soft and a little watery. It wasn’t mind blowing, but that’s fine, and I got a little extra for saying a specific word mentioned on twitter. The vegetables were fine, but there was a little too much of it, and there were pieces that my plastic fork could not penetrate. Halfway through it, I was just turned off and finished whatever rice was left.

    I don’t think I’ll be going back to try anything else. Thanks for your review, and I hope others have better luck with this truck.

  • Thumbs down, the rice was dry and salty, and not in a good soy sauce way, the veggies were kind of raw and the chicken looked boiled with no flavor, and also dry, overall the flavor was not good, and honestly even if the food was better I’m not sure I’d be back, to me this is not a theme I’m interested in, the same thing can be had all over midtown done to perfection and with more options.

  • i can’t imagine that japanese people actually run this truck. the term HIBACHI is a white thing.

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