First Look: Hibachi Heaven Is The Healthy Version Of Street Meat
As noted on the Midtown site, there’s something of a trend right now with trucks serving Japanese food. Hibachi Heaven debuted last Thursday in the Financial District and this Friday there’s a truck called Okadaman hitting the streets with okanamiyaki and other specialties more commonly found at sake watering holes in the East Village. But this review’s about Hibachi Heaven which serves the protein + vegetables + rice + sauce combo familiar to anyone who’s eaten at a street meat cart. This wasn’t street meat, but it wasn’t exactly Japanese either.
I was there on their first day of service, which you’ve already heard about from your fellow Lunch’ers, and happened to be the second customer, so this isn’t so much a review as a recap of what I ate and what it tasted like.
You can get beef, chicken, shrimp or tofu and vegetables over fried or brown rice or in a wrap, and three choices of sauce. There’s the choice of ginger, a wasabi mayo or “yum yum sauce” which I was told is also mayo-based with a Cajun seasoning. My combo was chicken over fried rice with ginger sauce ($8). You can get extra meat for $2, but I was fine with the regular portion so as to keep my girlish figure.
There was no line in front of me, I got my food in a flash, although it sounds like there were waits/running out of food issues later on which are fairly common with new trucks. My first thought was I got a good amount of food for the money, and also that this looked pretty healthy, probably because I didn’t not get a mayo-based sauce.
The chicken was plentiful, but on the dry side and unseasoned. The bits that had the salty ginger sauce on them were the best, and I would also recommend eating it with some of the excellent, garlicky fried rice rather than on its own. Some people complained that they got undercooked vegetables, but mine were fine, if also unseasoned. I could have used a bit more of the ginger sauce but it looked like they maybe put more on other people’s plates.
I liked that, unlike some lunches I’ve eaten for ML Downtown, I didn’t feel like I was going to die afterward and was nicely full for the rest of the afternoon. Hopefully they work out kinks and maybe add some sides to the menu. You can check the truck out in the Financial District on Tuesday and Friday and in Soho on Wednesdays.