We found Inakaya by sheer coincidence, walking on the side of The New York Times Building in Times Square. From the outside, we already saw that it was an upscale Japanese restaurant. We tried to go a first time, but it was packed and the wait was way too long. So the second time, we reserved a table.
They sat us at the large counter that oversees the kitchen.
After we sat, they brought us some wet towels:
And we ordered some green tea.
While sipping our tea, we noticed that the people on the other side of the counter were carrying some sort of wooden peels, similar to the ones that restaurants use to put and remove pizza from the oven.
A couple of minutes later, we saw one of the staff putting a dish on the peel and reaching out across the counter to a patron, who took it from there. That was quite surprising and amusing!
So, it was time to order. We went for classic dishes:
We started off with Robata-yaki or grilled vegetables. The first one was eggplant:
I love eggplant and, when eating in a Japanese restaurant, we usually order nasu (the Japanese word for eggplant), that is eggplant in miso. This dish was really good: simple, keeping the eggplant be the star, it had a nice but not too pronounced char taste.
As you can see on the above photo, the eggplant was tendered to us from across the counter...
The second dish was grilled mushrooms in foil:
Opening the aluminum foil was like unwrapping a gift.
It was extremely hot and, when we opened the foil, there was a wonderful smell coming out from it. This dish was made of three kinds of mushrooms (like the shimeji mushrooms below), cooked in soy sauce.
It was simply made though very successful, the mushrooms having each a different texture. It was so good that when I told Jodi that we should go back and try other veggies, she mentioned that next time, she would like to have this mushroom dish for herself...
The next dish was the grilled squid.
I loved it and if you love squid, this is definitely a recommendation. The squid was tender with a fantastic char. The sauce in the bottom was made with soy, adding a slight saltiness to it.
After that, we ordered three different rolls:
We picked the spicy scallops:
Tuna and avocado:
Salmon and avocado:
Each of the rolls had sesame seeds for a bit of nuttiness and the avocado was perfect (I hate when the avocado is not ripe). The ingredients tasted fresh and it was pretty good, although it was a quite standard dish. I guess next time, we should shoot for more original ones. Because there will probably be a next time! Yes, we liked this place and will probably be back at some point: good food and interesting way of serving the guests. It is pricier than your average Japanese restaurant, but it is justified by the quality of the ingredients.
Enjoy (I did)!
If you like this post or the photos, feel free to share it using the toolbar below or to write a comment!
And Remember: I Just Want To Eat!