Two of my friends and I were having a hard time deciding where to eat — I can’t eat spicy food, friend number one doesn’t eat pork and friend number two was abstaining from red meat. After two hours of “no” to all the places I suggested, I came up with a somewhat brilliant idea: Since we were planning to go shopping at the Uwajimaya supermarket, we should grab food from the food stall inside the supermarket.
They both said yes. Here we go!
The three of us took around 10 minutes to stare at the food display, almost drooling (thank goodness we didn’t) while seeing the yummy-looking food selection. We decided to pick the cheapest-yet-tastiest-looking food — we’re just college students, after all.
1. Spam and Scrambled Egg With Rice Bento - $3.59
This included two pieces of Spam, a generous portion of white rice for the price (I could only finish half of it) and a bunch of scrambled eggs. I picked this because it reminded me of the lunches my mom used to make for me when I was in elementary school.
The scrambled eggs at Uwajimaya had scallions in them — exactly the way my mom did it. They were fluffy, not too dry, and seasoned with white pepper.
As for the Spam, it was somehow a bit different than the regular spam. It was not too salty, so no risk of being killed by Spam's high sodium content. However, it might’ve tasted better if the Spam was crispier.
2. Chicken Katsu With Rice Bento - $5.59
What makes chicken katsu sold at Uwajimaya different from the usual chicken katsu from any teriyaki joint? The texture. Uwajimaya katsu is crispy on the outside, but not crispy to the point that you can only taste the bread crumbs and not the chicken. After a bite of the crunchy breading outside, I found that the chicken meat inside was juicy and tender. Bonus points — unlike a lot of katsu I’ve had, the meat inside Uwajimaya’s was thick enough to be satisfying.
It was served with generous portion of rice (not as generous as the Spam and egg bento, though), a piece of baby broccoli, pickled daikon radish and katsu sauce. The sauce tasted pretty similar to teriyaki sauce, but it was thicker, not too sweet and had a touch of ginger in it.
Rating: 4/5 (It would’ve been 5/5 if there was more chicken, but I probably demand too much.)
3. Unagi Musubi (rice ball) - $3.99
For those who don’t know what on earth musubi is, it is a wider-yet-shorter version of a sushi roll, and looks more like a block than a roll. This is more suitable for people who want to grab a quick lunch — no utensils are needed to eat this, just hold it with your hands.
We ordered two musubi, and the first one we tried had marinated unagi (freshwater eel). It would have tasted better if the unagi musubi was served warm but it was lukewarm, which made me a bit upset.
The texture of the unagi was deliciously soft, however the marinade was a bit too sweet for my liking. Another downside was that there was only one mini piece of unagi. I wish the unagi piece was a bit bigger and not too sweet — it would have tasted way better.
4. Ebi Tempura Musubi
Another musubi we tried had fried shrimp tempura as filling instead of unagi. I like this one better — it still had the crispy texture despite being served lukewarm. I would suggest eating it with a little soy sauce to add flavor. Just like its unagi counterpart, the ratio of tempura to rice was way off, with a tiny piece of tempura and way too much rice. I demand two pieces of tempura!!
Overall, the experience was enjoyable, but I would suggest trying the other bentos at Uwajimaya. They have lots of appetizing food selections, and I’m pretty sure I will be back to conquer them all! Also, if you want to try food from other countries, they have a food court which offers dishes from Thailand, Vietnam and so on.
Itadakimasu! (Bon appetit!)
Address: 600 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
Hours: Monday to Saturday - 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday - 8 a.m.-9 p.m.
Bus route from SCC: Route 5, get off at 3rd Ave S & S Main St then walk 0.3 miles to 5th Ave S.