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Jan 30, 2011 05:14 PM

Tabeya Japanese Restaurant in Greenville, NC - Good but will it last?

This place just opened up over the weekend. It was used to be Wendy's and they redecorated the place with faux wood vinyl floors and color changing lights. Similar to Fuji Japan and Japan Inn, this place serves Sushi and your oh so typical Japanese food.

Just like any other restaurants in the east, opening weekend was filled with chaos and frustrated customers. First, there were a few idiots who didn't really have a clue about what they exactly ordered and then some of the servers had no clue about who ordered what. Also, some servers got the name of the dish confused. For example, Hibachi Chicken instead of Terriyaki Chicken.

Fortunately the food quality was great! Sushi rolls were well made and so were the entrees. I had the Terriyaki Steak and Tempura Shrimp combination box. For 15 bucks you get six pieces of fried tempura shrimp, thinly sliced ribeye steak, a few pieces of crab ragoon and fried rice in one big bento box. Each shrimp was packed with panko bread crumbs and perfectly fried. The steak was well marinated thogh a bit overcooked.

Overall I am satisfied with this place. Great food and decent prices. I don't really care about service and neither should you. Go there to enjoy the food!

I will definitely be coming back in a few weeks after they work the kinks out.

Japan Inn
739 Red Banks Rd, Greenville, NC 27858

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  1. Has there been a huge influx of Japanese relocating to Greenville that I've missed? I think that makes 6 Japanese restaurants in a town not exactly known for ethnic cuisine. I think there are more sushi options than barbecue options in town, which is more than curious. I thought it pretty odd when Wasabi 88 and Japan Inn opened around the same time in the same shopping center, especially considering how large both places are. That being said, it's nice to have another option assuming they can all stay in business. However, If one more Japanese restaurant opens I'm preparing for an invasion.

    1 Reply
    1. re: veganhater

      There are several Japanese owned factories in Greenville- Asmo, Fuji, and one or two more I'm forgetting. Also, there's Keihin in Tarboro, whose Japanese employees seem to mostly live in Greenville- I often get behind them in the morning on Highway 11 heading north to US64.

      There are a fair number of Japanese kids at my kid's school. I think Greenville has a Saturday Japan school now, too. Might explain why the Keihin people live in Greenville.

      Given all of this, one would think that one of the local offerings would rise above the usual hibachi stuff. There are actually more than six Japanese places- there's Sappari, Tokyo Japan, Japan Inn, Fuji Japan, Hibachi Express near B&N, Hibachi Express near the hospital, a place I forget the name of on Arlington near K-Mart, and a place downtown, plus this new one. That's nine.

    2. How does the sushi compare to the other places in town? I usually go to Japan Inn these days- they have the most creative rolls, although the chefs aren't much for conversation. Sappari used to have an excellent sushi chef that really made things fun, but I haven't been in a while. I wasn't impressed with Wasabi 88.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Naco

        Japan Inn has been our go to place in Greenville for sushi as well. I had one poor meal at Wasabi 88 and two at Tokyo and have not been back to either since. I didn't realize their was that much Japanese presence in Greenville, although I also rarely see Japanese people when I dine at these restaurants. It is kind of funny that Greenville has more Japanese options than Barbecue options

        1. re: veganhater

          Tokyo didn't really do it for me, either.

          On barbecue, I don't know. Greenville is pretty deracinated these days- I think around half the population is from outside of North Carolina. And I just don't think a Parker's knock-off is going to do it for natives and transplants who care. I'd rather go to Ayden once a month than go down the street for gas-cooked barbecue once a week, you know?

          On the other hand, Boss Hogg's seemed to do quite well on 14th St. and I was surprised that it closed. But I imagine the rent at that location is sky high. I suppose Parker's, B's, and Pete Jones is sufficient to make things rocky for others. Boss Hogg's tried and failed, and El Azador used to be CHAPS Barbecue, which also didn't make it, although I think the original one out in the country near Kinston is still open.

          There's also Uncle Yammy's, which seems to be doing well in a presumably high rent location on Red Banks, although I liked the beer list better than the barbecue.

      2. Made it over to Tabeya a few days ago. I had a chef's choice nigiri platter, and my wife had the bento box from the OP.

        The sushi was good, but not quite as good as Japan Inn. I got several pieces each of 3-4 different kinds of nigiri; the chef's choice at Japan Inn doesn't have any repeats- all the pieces are different.

        My wife really enjoyed the bento box, especially the steak, which she thought was better than Japan Inn. I tried the steak and it was pretty good, although I don't remember the last time I got any steak at Japan Inn.