Restaurants & Bars

Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Inaho: a pleasant surprise!

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Inaho: a pleasant surprise!

shogun | Mar 24, 2008 05:40 PM

As I've posted recently, was looking for an authentic Japanese restaurant in GTA. I have lived in Japan for 5 years and been to many places. My wife is Japanese so I eat Japanese almost every night.
I was disappointed to see so many fusion and Chinese- and Korean-run places with all manner of strange concoctions.
Well, we just had lunch at Inaho in Richmond Hill. We went in there with low expectations and were we pleasantly surprised. It is fine. Now granted, it is not a high-class establishment with 10 waiters and flying fish in from Tokyo Bay every day (which means little since every Japanese person knows that Tokyo Bay is filthily polluted so eating fish from Tokyo Bay is not as appetizing as it appears to people who have never been to Japan) like some other places which charge you $150 a head.
Anyway, think of Inaho as your friendly neighbourhood mama-san (or nomiya or the old-style izakaya on the street corner). If you have that image, then you know what you can expect. A place where you can go to relax, drink, eat some sushi, have few laughs, talk to the chef, drink more, eat more, laugh more. Inaho is a family-run little eatery/pub (Japanese-style, of course) owned and operated by a Japanese man and his Chinese wife. They are friendly and the food is nice, well-prepared, and tasty. The place is tiny and seats maybe 20 people. But what it lacks in grandeur, it more than makes up for in coziness. The chef has many regulars who he knows on a first-name basis and I guess, like in Japan, they come in to unwind and have a beer and enjoy some food. They stay, chat, laugh, drink, eat, all in a cozy, family-like atmosphere where you are treated like a friend and not a wallet. 5 stars for authenticity!

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