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.
1586 1st Ave, New York, NY 10028
1026 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10022