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"Omakase" at Inase, UES - review

My husband and I went to Inase for a week-night meal on Tuesday. We had a really lovely meal and some of the best sushi we've EVER eaten. The cooked appetisers were delicious as well. The service was muted, courteous, attentive and considerate (all good things). The atmosphere was very soothing. We sat at the sushi bar and the sushi-chef was very nice.

An important disclaimer given I'm posting on CH - we aren't sushi experts like some posters here. We've never sampled Yasuda or East 15.This was only our second time trying omakase (the first being the omakase sushi meal at Takesushi in Midtown. But we both love sushi and will try it where we can get it.

We both ordered the $60 omakase meal.

We started with standard appetisers, miso soup, some kind of seaweed, salad in ginger-orange dressing. Each perfectly formed. If someone can identify the seaweedy thing, please let me know what it is called.

The waitress recommended the chawan-mushi (egg custard) with uni (sea urchin roe) as part of our meal. It contained perfectly done little pieces of shrimp and gingko nut. The chicken pieces were slightly overcooked. "So many different flavours," whispered Hubby. (The restaurant was REALLY quiet.) "Yeah, how'd they get it all into such a little cup?" I whispered back. The uni tasted like a clean, briny ocean breeze.

After the appetisers, we each got this beautiful platter of sashimi. The chef took pains to tell us what everything was, and that the red snapper was from Japan. There was Spanish mackeral, medium-fatty tuna, red snapper, octopus, abalone, crab, abalone and fresh-grated wasabi. Everything was really fresh, tender and tasty. The tuna was my favourite. It was extraordinarily flavourful.

This was followed by a yummy yellow-tail and turnip stew. The fish was almost buttery.

Sushi followed. We were served two pieces at a time, totaling eight pieces for each of us. (There are only 6 pieces in the photos because I got excited and forgot to take a photo of the first two.) Sushi included fatty tuna, fatty salmon, scallops, raw(!) giant shrimp, horse mackeral and salmon roe. We liked everything and thought each piece was perfectly seasoned. Biggest surprise: the giant shrimp, which was raw with plenty of wasabi. I didn't think I would like raw shrimp. But this was unctuous rather than slimy, with a subtle prawn flavour. My favourite: the tuna, the tuna, the tuna! Who knew tuna could be so tasty. The fragrant, oily fish taste just kept on going in my mouth.

We finished with matcha and red-bean mochi ice-cream, both good.

We thought the food and value was better than Takesushi, although I think they are different kinds of restaurant. Inase had fewer "interesting" options like soft shell crab and lobster tempura. A smaller, warmer and somehow more homey menu and experience, although that does *not* mean the food was less expert.

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Inase
1586 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028

Takesushi
1026 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022

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  1. I forgot the photos.

     
     
     
    1. From what I can see from photos I believe the seaweed to be Hijiki.

      1 Reply
      1. I very much enjoyed your review; thanks for posting. I'm no sushi expert either (so I appreciate your review since I can follow it). My sister and I tried Inase about 2 years ago for the omakase and enjoyed it very much (except for the fish eyeball that was weird--I'm sure it must be some type of delicacy, but it was lost on us). When we had dinner, we were the only 2 diners the entire evening. The sushi chef was also very nice to us. Sound like we should make a return visit soon.

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        Inase
        1586 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028

        1 Reply
        1. re: ellenost

          I really enjoy Inase, glad it's in the neighborhood. The chef and his wife are very nice people.

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          Inase
          1586 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028

        2. Great review!

          I've been to Inase several times, and it's always been great. I've yet to find a better sushi meal that doesn't cost about twice as much (or more).

          They do seem to stay under the radar though. I hope they do enough business to stay afloat.

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          Inase
          1586 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028

          1. Inase is really a great find. Their lunch special is a fantastic value, six pieces of fish that are not the standard variety. He gets really good fish and a nice variety. Excellent sushi for a decent price.

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            Inase
            1586 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028