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Jan 30, 2010 05:57 AM

Inatei, a question of value vs. Zen

Had the $70 Omakase menu at Inatei, arranged before hand to be Sushi&Sashimi only. The quality and variety of fish was very good, but nothing that would beat Zen out of the park IMHO.

still, I would return but for the quantity just because Zen . we received 6 pieces of Nigiri each and a total of perhaps 7 pieces of sashimi. I was so hungry that I had to order a spider roll (worst part of the meal) and a toro hand roll (very good) just to get full. This made up ca. $165 just for food pre tax and tip (including 2 very small desserts which were good and followed our added order of rolls).

now, I left happy and full, but for $165 you could get much more fish in Zen(two omakase sushi and two sashimi dinners and a spider roll!!), without, in my opinion, losing anything in terms of quality.

I think I made a mistake in ordering sushi and sashimi only omakase. perhaps the non-substituted omakase will be a better deal. The fish and preparation is good enough for me to go back and try the 'ordinary' omakase though. but for just sushi/sashimi, I am staying with Zen.

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  1. what types of sashimi & sushi you got and how can a $70 Omakase turned out to be $164?? Did you have a lot of sake?

    1. I'm a bit confused by your post - was it at Zen or Imatei that you paid $165 and needed to order more because the meal was small?

      8 Replies
      1. re: dibpal

        Inatei : 2 Omakase sushi&sashimi ($70 each) + 1 Spider roll ( $10)+ 1 Toro hand roll set($15)= $165 before tax,tip, alc

        Zen: 2 Omakase sushi ($50 each) + 2 Sashimi dinner ($25 each) + 1 spider rolls ($15)= $165 before tax,tip,alc

        These are almost exact numbers. The variety of fish we got at Inatei Omasake was not more impressive than what you get at Zen, but I would say on the same level. The amount of food you get at Zen with this calculation is MUCH MUCH more

        1. re: shekamoo

          Agree with dibpal that your post is kind of confusing. If I have it right, you seem to be saying that Inatei has better quality (though not "out of the park" better) compared to Zen, but since Zen gives you more quantity, you prefer Zen.

          Zen is considered here to be one of the top Japanese Sushi restaurants in Toronto, so the fact that you're saying Inatei beats it in quality catches my attention as I've never been to Inatei. Can anyone second shekamoo's contention that Inatei is at least as good as Zen in terms of quality?

          I heard the master chef at Inatei used to work at Hisui Japanese Cuisine at McNicoll & Kennedy, so, if so, he's not new to Toronto.

          1. re: syoung

            Agree with shekamoo that Inatei is a good quality Japanese restaurant in Toronto area. Not only raw offerings, the cooked food is also very good. One of the big difference I found is Inatei provides more varieties of (but good quality) sushi and cooked food, whereas Zen is more on the "authentic" and "traditional" side. Nigiri sushi is still better at Zen IF one orders omakase at Zen at the bar. Nothing beats Inatei's value with the $70 Omakase (both cooked and raw food) I tried there in Toronto's top end Japanese restaurant.

            Both places's nigiri sushi (in a la carte and omakase) are better than Kaji.

            1. re: skylineR33

              The $70 cooked+raw Omakase will be my next try.

              1. re: skylineR33

                Just curious if they offer a cooked only omakase?

                1. re: Wil

                  they seemed pretty flexible about the make-up of their omakase menu. but I would strongly suggest against tweaking with their regular omakase. in fact I wrote the original post to warn against this

                  1. re: shekamoo

                    do you have to tell Inatei ahead of time that you want an omakase (sushi/sashimi only or one with cooked food too)?