Three friends and business associates from Japan have caught up with each other in Burnaby.
Norio Abe, Itsuroku Kimura and Katsu Terada opened Teri Boy, a Japanese restaurant located at 4248 Dawson Ave. last August and have been offering affordable Japanese comfort food to commuters and local business people.
The most popular dishes are the teriyaki chicken and teriyaki beef combination plates, served with rice, salad and takoyaki, the ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion. Priced at less than $10, the dishes are fast and filling, and reminiscent of what you would get during a busy lunch hour rush in Japan.
We enjoyed our chicken teriyaki, which from the time we placed our order to the moment we took our first bite, was only five minutes.
That's the speed and efficiency the three men are shooting for, as they know that students, transit riders and business people who need a quick lunch don't have time to wait.
If you haven't figured it out already, the "teri" in Teri Boy stands for teriyaki and the dishes would not be out of place on the Japanese streets the three men first met on.
But the journey to Burnaby has literally gone all around the world, as Abe was running a Japanese restaurant in Santa Monica, California several years ago when he met up with his friends again.
"Kimura had been working in Shanghai and Its in Mexico City," Abe said of meeting up with his old college friends.
The trio decided they wanted to try something new and they soon found themselves in Vancouver, where three years ago, they opened a sit-down Japanese restaurant which they operated for two-and-a-half years.
The trio then decided they wanted to change the concept, offering Japanese comfort food dishes served quickly, but with no compromise on food quality.
"We have a lot of young people who like our food," said Terada. "We're also trying to get more of the business people who work in the area."
In fact, as we were talking to Terada, a local office worker stopped by to pick up a menu because he was interested in an upcoming catered lunch.
The options at Teri Boy are unique in their own regard, as the chicken, beef or yakisoba sandwiches are quite affordable at under $7 each, while the chicken or beef noodle bowls are incredibly filling on a cold winter day for only $6 each.
There are also daily specials that run the gamut from salmon cutlet on rice for $7.50 to ginger pork for under $8.
We've also had a good experience with the chicken bowl served with udon noodles and if you can't decide what you like best, the combo plates, which include rice, takoyaki and salad are a bargain at under $10.
The three friends and business partners alternate duties and seem to work well together without needing to say much.
When we sat down with Terada, Kimura was busy doing some computer work, while Abe was bringing in the day's supplies.
When they opened last summer, business was very brisk, but it slowed down through the cold winter days.
But with nice weather coming soon, the business partners forecast a return to the days of last summer.
"As it gets warmer, more people get out and they'll come back," said Terada. "We're building the business little by little."
The cozy eatery is centrally located adjacent to the Gilmore SkyTrain station and is open seven days a week, with weekdays open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and noon to 7 p.m. on weekends.
For more information, call 604-558-4010.