Day: September 24th, 2007

We’re not in Buffalo anymore

Monday, September 24th, 2007 | All Things, Eats, Friends

SC and JG had been talking about Tebaya‘s chicken wings ever since our trip to BonChon last month.

Teba, a specialty of Nagoya, are Japanese-style deep-fried chicken wings. Food & Wine listed this place among their “50 Best Asian Finds” in 2005 (along with Beard Papa cream puffs and Nicky’s Vietnamese Sandwiches.) Tebaya owner Hoi Bang has former experience in sushi restaurants around the city, and in the “sacred” sumo ring, where he was a onetime Sumo wrestler (which explains the winged wrestler logo on the shop’s business cards and menu.)

We’d been trying to compare this Japanese version against the Korean fried chicken since Labor Day when the shop’s holiday schedule thwarted our initial attempt. This time, there were no such snafus. After calling in our order from the apartment, JG set out for 19th Street ten minutes later for the strategic pick-up of our food, fresh from the fryer.

I didn’t see the shop myself, but I understand it’s primarily a takeout place, though there is some counter space and a few round tables at which to eat on the premises. I did see the takeout menu, though, and overall it is pretty limited: mostly chicken, mostly fried. Their specialty wings are available in orders of 8 to 50, or individually for 75 cents.

Tebaya chicken wings

But what wings! Crispy and sweet on the outside, juicy inside. The uncoated chicken pieces are fried twice in soy oil, and then tossed in an outrageously addictive garlicky “Teba sauce” and finished with sprinkles of black pepper and roasted sesame seeds. Potemochi (pan-fried potato cake) was good too, chewier than a hash brown, and served with a pair of dipping sauces, one soy-miso, the other which I believe was just melted sweet butter.

And here, the Karaage — marinated and battered chicken thighs. There was some debate around the table over which was the favorite chicken of the night. I call the Teba on the basis of the sauce, by a slim margin:

Tebaya Karaage

In reviewing the shop’s website for this blog entry, I came across this tidbit about the collagen in Tebaya’s chicken wings:

“Collagen is good for this, for it works in our bodies to keep our skin elastic and resilient. As we get older and lessen the intake of collagen, the result is an increase in aging, coupled with lost in elasticity in our skin, causing it to wrinkle or sag. To help prevent unnecessary aging, you will find that our chicken wings are a great source of collagen. [emphases added.]”

So these wings prevent wrinkles — who knew?! There’s even a molecular diagram accompanying the blurb, so really, it must be true.

JG’s beautiful apple pie, made with apples, fresh picked from Croton:

JG’s apple pie

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