Inakaya Sake Bar & Resturant

30 Sep

Figure I will start with something nobody has seen before.

126 Willowdale Avenue, North York, ON M2N 4Y2, Canada +1 416-224-8881

No website, but that shouldn’t bother you, situated near Willowdale and Sheppard, is this quaint little Sake Bar

I am a big fan of Sake, and seeing this is very close to my house, I have been here a few times to enjoy more than just Hakutsuru, but seeing my budget is erm… small, I had…. Hakutsuru… =.=”

Anyways, back on topic, like most Japanese places it offers everything from the most mundane stuff like Chicken Teriyaki, to really exotic Kobe Beef, they offer a wide variety of grilled fresh market fish (Robata); their specialty, and of course, the standard sashimi and sushi.  So this place has a bit for everyone.  I hesitate to use the word Izakaya on this place, because while it offers the environment of one, I don’t think this really qualifies as one.

Interior Ambience, Chef working away at the counter

When I did this review, it was the middle of summer, and they had one tiny A/C sitting next to the door way, not really a big deal if you aren’t eating spicy and hot food, this won’t really break me but something to keep in mind, if you are like me and do sweat alot.

Uni Hand roll: 2/5 , Scallop and Toro Sashimi: 4/5, 2.5/5

Seaweed on the hand roll was not fresh, and there wasn’t enough Uni, maybe I am just spoiled though… The scallop I do like, very fresh and had a very satisfying sweet taste, did not taste like it was frozen like most places.  The Toro was acceptable, not great because its obivious it was frozen and thawed.  That said, just to have it is suprising enough to me.

Ume & Cucumber Maki: 4/5

The above worked for me but not for the person sitting opposite to me.  Ume gave the otherwise mundane Kappa roll quite a suprising twist.

That’s the cold stuff, and now, onto their hot dishes

Grilled Ox Tongue 3.5/5

Grilled Saba (I think? I had it awhile ago): 4/5

They used a miso based glaze on it, had a very nice sweet taste to go with the fish, very nice.

Salt Water Eel: 4/5

Black Sesame Ice Cream: 4/5

Awesome smell, awesome taste, great way to end an evening!

Overall Mark: 3.5/5

Food was very well done, it relied more on the ingredient to deliver the taste, I respect the chef for not relying strictly on condiments to bring out flavors, rather rely on the ingredients themselves, as it should be with good Japanese food.  A valiant effort, and if it didn’t cost so much for such small portions, I would make this a normal getaway of a friday night.  It had a great interior ambience, service was excellent as expected, albeit very slow, I would not be here for a rush meal at all.  Food selection is great, it does everything really in my book.  It is also exactly why this will remain a good choice, but not the best.  It did everything well, it just specialized in nothing.

If you want your food full of flavor, there are better options.  If you want a good cheap Japanese food, there are better options, this is a good clean meal, that does not leave your mouth dying for tea.  I just felt this could’ve been so much more.

Inakaya on Urbanspoon


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