This post is a response to episode 679 of the podcast “This American Life” where …
I love onigiri so much, you can say I’m an onigiri superfan. Japanese style sticky rice balls, wrapped in seaweed, stuffed with your choice of filling has always seemed like a perfect lunch snack. It also doesn’t help watching anime as a child and seeing all these characters eating rice balls.
So when I spied the Onigiri by Tampopo stall at UrbanSpaceNYC’s Garment District location, I had to try it. Outside of onigiri, they were also selling donburi (rice bowl), but we went straight for the good stuff.
The great thing about this tiny stall is that they make the onigiris to order right in front of you, then again, they don’t really have the space to make it any other way.
We ordered three of their onigiri: pork, salmon scallion, and karaage.
In regards to the pork, there seemed to not be enough filling, so the flavor was lost in all the rice. The salmon scallion was really tasty! Perhaps our favorite of the three. It tasted like they used smoked salmon lox in their filling mix, which was a great call. It was a nice mix of saltiness with the rice and it’s definitely something we’d order again. The karaage (Japanese fried chicken) was also super tasty, but we wished it came with more chicken. We could taste it was properly marinated and seasoned. We’d even consider ordering it on it’s own.
Onigiris go for $5 each and if you want to go for the donburi, that’ll set you back $13.
Onigiri by Tampopo has a small location at The Dimenna Center for Classical Music at 450W 37th street, however they can be found in Midtown Manhattan until June 14th at the Garment District location for UrbanSpaceNYC.