The first Inakaya opened in Roppongi, Tokyo in 1970 and has since expanded to New York, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi
Located in the Venetian Village, Inakaya is a traditional izakaya. Dubbed an interactive theatre, Inakaya presents a distinctive dining experience called robatayaki, a Japanese grilling art that is as much a performance as it is a way of cooking.
As soon as we arrived to Inakaya we are given a warm Japanese welcome. The enthusiastic staff are dressed in kimono and happi coat-style uniforms. The restaurant itself has been well designed to offer a comfortable yet interactive dining experience. If the timing is right, diners will also be able to enjoy the thanking performance performed by the energetic Inakaya team.
We decide to take a seat in the open conservatory area allowing us to take in the tranquil views of the canal.
For starters we order the tuna salmon tar-tar, tidbits of tuna and salmon in miso tartare sauce topped with crispy crackers, the giant prawn tempura, a deep fried jumbo tiger prawn with sweet wasabi mayonnaise and the Wagyu beef tataki, seared wagyu beef with green salad, enoki and shimeji mushrooms in truffle soy dressing.
The tuna salmon tar-tar is light and refreshing with the miso sauce adding a subtle tang to the dish. The giant prawn tempura is bursting with flavour, from the crisp batter to the sweet wasabi mayonnaise this dish is rich and flavourful. However the simple yet surprising flavours of the Wagyu beef tataki are not to be overlooked. This dish alone would be perfect for a light, healthy lunch.
Francis, the restaurant manager recommends we try the Kobe skewers, prepared using the traditional Japanese robata, skewers of Kobe beef are presented with freshly grated wasabi and original dipping sauce. Patiently grilled to perfection by specially trained master grill chefs, it is a joy to taste, as it is to watch the theatre and flare of Inakaya’s seated grill masters. This dish is literally mouth-watering, the Kobe beef is succulent and cooked to perfection.
From the main menu we select the black cod fillet. Grilled miso marinated black cod, glazed in Japanese pickled plum with miso basil sauce. The glazed pickled plum sauce adds a tantalizing taste to the black cod. This dish has been crafted to perfection.
We couldn’t leave Inakaya without sampling the sushi so we place a small order of dragon-eel, sushi rice in nori roll with avocado on top, the crunchy roll, a California roll with tempura flake on the top and spider soft shell crab, tobiko and lettuce with sushi rice in nori, rolled inside out.
The sushi is beautifully presented on a red boat bowl emphasizing the colourful sushi. Again the sushi was sublime.
For our dessert we select the mochi ice cream in mango, chocolate and cheesecake flavour alongside the yuzu and passion fruit sorbet. Presented in a Japanese box on a bed of ice this was one of the most refreshing and best tasting desserts we have had the pleasure in trying. So much so, a few days after we returned just for the mochi ice cream.
This authentic Japanese restaurant offers some of the best tasting Japanese cuisine in Abu Dhabi. Staff are attentive, friendly yet not intrusive.
Well done to the team at Inakaya, very well done indeed!
Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal
02 404 1921