Modoo Teriyaki is located in a quaint strip mall next to the Fred Meyer on the corner of 176th Street E. and Meridian Avenue E. Walking into the restaurant, I was greeted by a nice “family style” atmosphere with seat yourself service and a TV hanging in a corner playing sports. I was immediately taken care of upon entering and the staff had a table ready for us within seconds.
Modoo Teriyaki has a typical menu not unlike most teriyaki places in Puyallup. They have your typical menu choices of teriyaki chicken, general tsao’s chicken, Mongolian beef, etc. Most items were priced at $9 with soup and rice accompanying the meal.
I went to the restaurant in the mood for orange chicken but I was disappointed to find there was no way on the menu I could order just a side of orange chicken. I asked my server if this was possible at all even though it was not outlined in the menu. I had unknowingly and unfortunately broken the system. My request had upset the waitress and I was then given a three minute lecture on how food on the menu is what you get, no substitutions.
I wasn’t about to let the orange chicken incident ruin my experience. I understand that restaurants sometimes don’t make exceptions, that’s fine. All I wanted to drink was some water, just tap water. They sell bottled water at Modoo Teriyaki but I declined and asked for tap instead because of my knowledge of the evil water bottle market learned through my activism with Phi Theta Kappa at Pierce. I soon understood why they sold bottled water. They obviously did not make the tap water taste like a fishbowl—it just happened to taste like a fishbowl. There are some places you go to where the water just tastes funky, and this was one of those places.
Ignoring that I had upset my waitress and the fishbowl tasting water, I was still optimistic that Modoo Teriyaki was going to satisfy my needs for a nice lunch. I was served eggdrop soup while the rest of my meal was being prepared, though, I couldn’t tell it was eggdrop until the waitress told me. If you’ve ever had something called pepper jelly you’ll know that it is one of the foulest tasting items in existence. The consistency of pepper jelly is like any jelly type product and it tastes of pure black pepper. Unfortunately the description of pepper jelly goes hand in hand with my description of their eggdrop soup. I never wish to have eggdrop soup where the primary ingredient is pepper again.
Let’s forget about me upsetting the waitress, the orange chicken incident, the tap water and the pepper soup. Now we come to the main dish, what we’ve been waiting for this entire time. I ordered sweet and sour chicken and some regular teriyaki chicken. Biting into the sweet and sour chicken I was immediately surrounded by this wonderful sweet flavor, almost like candy. The chicken has a nice consistency and was quite juicy. Yet, there was no bite, no sour flavor. All I got was sugary chicken. Trust me, sugary chicken is not so satisfying when it’s the only flavor on your plate.
I move on to my side of rice and was reminded of when I was in elementary school and the cafeteria used to serve teriyaki chicken and rice. The rice was always something incredibly dry and would stick in a permanent ball shape. That horrible rice I had in elementary school is five star quality compared to what was on my plate at Modoo. The rice was not fully cooked and had the taste instant rice would have if it were left outside for a couple days.
The one bright spot in my dish was the sauce surrounding the teriyaki chicken. It was good, not $9 good but still good. The chicken itself in this dish however wasn’t so much chicken as it was strips of fat from a chicken. I finished tasting all of the flavors of the dish and then asked for a box, paid for my meal and left a tip. Then I walked out the door to my car severely disappointed in Modoo Teriyaki. There are plenty of good teriyaki places in Puyallup, don’t waste your money on Modoo Teriyaki.
I think it deserves: One out of five stars
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