Inakaya - Great Robatayaki

This evening, we had an early dinner at Inakaya, a robatayaki place here in Roppongi. I had been to the original branch several years ago and was excited to come back. In robatayaki you sit at a  U shaped bar with a huge selection of vegetables, meat, and fish before you. You point to things you want and the chefs grill it in front of you. As you order, all of the staff yell out the order in reply, so the place can get pretty raucous (although we were there early, so it was more subdued.)

Chefs grilling at Inakaya

The chefs pass the food, beer, whatever to you on these 3-4 foot long paddles; these guys are seriously strong. They can hold the paddles up without shaking at all. I'm not sure I could even hold the paddle steady.

Chef handing over food on a long paddle

The food was simple and very fresh; for instance the prawns (which were the hugest I've ever seen) were still moving on the display tray. The abalone was especially good but the whole snapper was my favorite. They thread a whole fish onto a skewer so the fish is in a S-shape; they rub a little salt on the fins to make them stand out, then they suspend the fish over the heat to cook. When it comes off it looks like it's swimming. The meat was tender and perfectly done.

Anyway, it was a great start to the trip. I'm looking forward to some other great meals...

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