Yoshinoya Changes Its Chicken Bowl, and Not for the Better
Edwin Goei

Yoshinoya Changes Its Chicken Bowl, and Not for the Better

I have two fast-food guilty pleasures: Jack-In-the-Box's mystery-meat tacos and Yoshinoya's chicken bowls. The tacos I consider as nothing but a snack, eaten late at night when no one's watching; but Yoshinoya's chicken bowl has fed me for practically half my life. These were real meals, and it has always been good to me: dependable, predictable and safe. As the rice forms the base of the bowl, a yin-yang of toppings go on. The veggies to one side, the spears of dark meat crispy-skinned chicken on the other. The teriyaki sauce is ladled over the bird like a sugary blanket.

Now, the chain has gone and mucked it all up. It has changed the chicken bowls. The meat, as you can see, is not cut into the neat strips, but kind of hacked up into random chunks, as if it were pre-chopped. The best part of the chicken, the skin, exists in scraps and is otherwise detached from the meat. Though the veggies don't appear to be mired in the gloppy gravy as they used to be (the carrots and broccoli actually snap now), they're mixed up with the poultry in a messy pile. This is problematic. I like to decide for myself when I want to start into the veggies. Another problem: The teriyaki sauce on my serving was poured onto just one side of the bowl, soaking into the rice but never really touching the chicken.

To summarize: I don't like it.

And on top of this, they've added green onions, which I don't necessarily object to, but it makes me wonder: Is Yoshinoya trying this to emulate Flame Broiler, which has been gobbling up the teriyaki market in recent years? My message to them: Stop it! Go back to serving your chicken bowls as they were. You were the OG of chain teriyaki bowls. Please stay that way!

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