'Hole-in-the-wall' Japanese food never tasted so good
Nestled comfortably in between Tumulty’s Irish Pub and Beauty Plus Inc., the Japanese restaurant Teri Teri isn’t in the most obvious location for any customers searching for that unique dining spot on George Street.
I visited this “hole-in-the-wall” with two friends who, like me, were at first rather underwhelmed by the simple appearance of the restaurant, but slightly reassured by the Rutgers pride that was present from several iconic red R’s welcoming customers into the establishment. Though the space itself isn’t very large — more like an elongated hallway with a few tables and a of couple chairs for customers — the centerpiece of the space is definitely the sushi bar right next to the entrance.
Teri Teri is a local hotspot, as the small room was filled with New Brunswick professionals, eagerly awaiting their food during their lunch break and appearing comfortably at home in cramped corners. Teri Teri’s appearance was a blanket statement for customers that their food was the attraction, and the simple aesthetic was functionality — take it or leave it.
After grabbing a laminated menu from the sushi counter, which had handwritten corrections to prices and menu items pasted on cut-up pieces of paper, I took a small table towards the back. I noticed that the menu lacked graphic design, but it made up for it with an abundance of food options at very affordable costs.
Not only does this Japanese menu have a sushi bar and choices from shrimp tempura to a variety of ramen — it also has a full breakfast menu as well. Available until 12 p.m on weekdays and all day on weekends, customers have the option to ditch their soy sauce for the pancake syrup. Though I can’t say I sampled any of the omelets or breakfast platters, I think it would definitely be worth another visit.
For appetizers, we agreed upon the pot stickers, shrimp sumai and veggie spring rolls. The shrimp sumai, which resembled a shrimp dumpling, was hands-down the most impressive. It was juicy and fresh — definitely made in-house. Second place has to be awarded to the veggie spring rolls which were fried to a golden, crunchy perfection.
It’s impossible to visit Teri Teri and not try what the staff refers to as the “best drinks on the block,” meaning their bubble tea selection. I ended up ordering the mango bubble tea, while my friend ordered the coconut. Mine was overwhelmingly sweet, but the coconut was very refreshing and had that perfect hint of flavoring for any coconut fans.
When my meal arrived it looked amazing and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I ordered the combo bowl of chicken with shrimp, and as the waiter explained to us, any bowl (either chicken, shrimp or the eponymous Teri Teri) is served on top of a bed of white or brown rice. It also includes a side salad in the bowl.
The chicken was grilled and prepared very well, and I personally love when the rice soaks up the flavor of the meat, so that was a nice touch. The salad was dressed in a white honey vinaigrette, which was very tasty. One of my friends had also gotten a bowl with chicken, probably one of the best choices on the menu. My other friend had ordered the "Spider Sushi Roll", which consisted of avocado, cucumber, masago and soft-shell crab tempura.
The sushi tasted very fresh, courtesy of the frantic workers at the bar, and the tempura added the perfect crunch — I have to vouch for the bowls.
To end our meal, we ordered the ice cream tempura. Let me say — best decision made. Not only was this the most insta-worthy food, but anything fried, especially ice cream, is always sure to be delicious. Teri Teri’s food was very impressive and if you’re looking for a casual lunch or perhaps a unique breakfast spot, take advantage of some of George Street’s finest.