Come to Tebaya (translated in Japanese means house of chicken wings), a tiny shop on the border of Chelsea and the Village, for super tasty Japanese-style chicken wings. To give you a preview, these ain’t the kind of wings you’ll find in Buffalo or at other Buffalo inspired establishments. It’s strictly Pacific Rim here with double fried wings encased in a crisp non fatty skin doused with a tangy sesame and soy sauce yielding to tender meat on the inside.
Their secret with these barely battered wings lies in their frying process: the first fry seals in the flavor and the second fry magnifies the crunch factor. The wings are then doused in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), black pepper, and sprinkled with sesame seeds making them hot and tangy but not enough to overpower the delicate chicken.
Portions range from eight to fifty pieces but keep in mind that these morsels are super lean so be sure to order more than you think you’ll eat. And if you overestimate, you’ll have a good excuse for leftovers. Other dishes include an Asian “happy meal” featuring a trio of potemochi (extremely dense, gummy potato cakes).
The place is so intimate that chances are great that you’ll meet Koji Okamoto himself, the 39-year-old chef and owner of Tebaya. So if you’re not taking out, perch on one of a dozen stools they have alongside a narrow counter and munch away.
Located at 144 W 19th St. (between 7th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas) Take the 1 subway to 18th St-7th Ave.