After being away from Singapore for a month, a new restaurant caught our eye in Orchard Road last night. Inakaya's giant fan-like facade at Orchard Parade Hotel (taking over from the premises left by the defunct Manchester United store) was striking.
Stepping over the threshold of the restaurant's front door was like stepping through the magic cupboard door in "The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe" - one instant, you're in Singapore, the next, you're in Tokyo! Such was the effect Inakaya has upon a diner. The noisy, theatrical-style presentation at the robatayaki counters, the spectacle of seeing grilled meats, seafood & vegetables served to customers by kneeling Japanese chefs (their kimono sleeves tied-up) on giant wooden paddles, all the yelling, and eager Japanese waiters (clad in Edo-era yukatas) scurrying around, their constant bowing & heads bobbing up & down like drinking-bird toys, was absolutely amazing.
The food was great, too - I particularly liked the seasonal kinki fish (the last time I had this was in a Japanese restaurant in Dagu-lu, Shanghai, exactly a year ago). Marinated wagyu beef was delicious.
The only thing I DIDN'T like about Inakaya was - we were presented a bill which amounted to nearly S$200 per head, and which was not itemised, at the end of the evening. In other words, this is like the Tiffany of Japanese restaurants - if you need to ask the price, you shouldn't be here.
BTW, a friend told me later that it was a local homegrown restaurant, and no relation to Tokyo's famous Inakaya robatayaki restaurant chain. Heck, I could have sworn this one was the genuine article. Anyway, it was all great fun & am planning my next visit there already.