Dinner @ Sushi Inomata 鮨 猪股 (Saitama, Japan)

March 23, 2019 in Japanese

And during my February 2018 trip, one of the sushi-yas that I went to was Sushi Inomata! In fact… With the exception of Kioichi Mitani, I booked my other sushi meals based on instagrammer @andrew_gyokudari‘s recommendation; I asked for places that’s within his Top 10 which are also not impossible to book, and he recommended me Sushi Inomata, Sushi Ryusuke and Sushi Suzuki. He also recommended Sushi Arai but I had already gone there. Also, I read Sushi Arai has since become difficult for non-locals to book head chef Arai san’s counter. But I digress…

For 6pm dinner, my hotel concierge assisted to make reservation 1 month prior. And when my reservation was confirmed, I was pre-informed the meal would range between ¥20,000 to ¥25,000.

But the thing was… Within that short 1 month from making-the-reservation to the-actual-dinner, they changed their menu. From February 2018, Sushi Inomata only offered a fixed 22 courses menu. My friend and I didn’t realise that till the end of our meal. And yes… Dinner at Sushi Inomata was supposed to be a solo affair. But when my friend learnt I was going there, she expressed interest.


And it was interesting that Sushi Inomata allowed me to make adjustment to my existing reservation via Instagram. Made me wonder for a moment if they would accept new reservation through Instagram. And yes, we exchanged texts in English. It was during our meal at Sushi Inomata that I realised it was chef-owner Kiyoshi Inomata’s fiancée wife who was replying me.

Sushi Inomata was not in central Tokyo. Located on the outskirts of Tokyo, it was a 45 to 55 minutes (metro) journey to Kawaguchi metro station followed by a 15 to 18 minutes walk. And once everyone arrived and settled down, we commenced our dinner with:-

1) Dish #1 (above) – Squid. We were told it’s aged for 4 days.

2) Dish #2 (above) – Flounder (hirame).

3) Dish #3 (above) – 1-week aged black throat sea perch (nodoguro).

4) Dish #4 (above) – Needlefish (sayori).

5) Dish #5 (above) – Adductor muscles of clam (kobashira).


6) Dish #6 (above) – Sea urchin (uni).

7) Dish #7 (above) – Marinated tuna (maguro zuke).

8) Dish #8 (above) – Vinegar-marinated mackerel (shime-saba).

9) Dish #9 (above) – Sweet shrimp (amaebi).

10) Dish #10 (above) – Ark shell clam (akagai).

11) Dish #11 (above) – Whale tail (kujira).

12) Dish #12 (above) – Premium fatty tuna (otoro).


13) Dish #13 (above) – Cucumber sushi roll.

14) Dish #14 (above) – Stuffed squid.

15) Dish #15 (above) – Milt (shirako).

16) Dish #16 (above) – Medium fatty tuna (chutoro).

17) Dish #17 (above) – Marinated premium fatty tuna (otoro).

18) Dish #18 (above) – Gizzard shad (kohada).

19) Dish #19 (above) – Hand roll of marinated tuna (maguro zuke) and premium fatty tuna (otoro).

20) Dish #20 (above) – Pickled gourd sushi roll.

21) Dish #21 (above) – Egg omelette (tamago).

I only had 21 dishes because I requested not to have oyster as I wasn’t sure if I fully recovered from my oyster phobia. My friend had fewer dishes than me since she clearly knew her likes and dislikes. Because she was still hungry and I was greedy, we tried requesting for add-ons. And that’s when we realised head chef Inomata san had changed to a fixed 22 courses menu. He was apologetic he wasn’t able to offer us additional nigiri sushi.

My friend and I continued to linger a little before requesting for the bill. Although it was odd our bill took a long while to come, my friend and I didn’t mind the wait because we were quite entertained at the sight of the remaining drunk high customers. Keke. And what touched us was after the husband and wife saw everyone off, head chef Inomata san came up to us and explained he couldn’t oblige earlier because of his other customers. That’s when we realised he turned down the other customers’ requests for additional sushi too. So yes, we were touched because he must have realised my friend was hungry since she had significantly fewer dishes. I think she skipped at least 4 to 5? And he made us a sea urchin rice bowl each. We didn’t take any picture cause he requested us not to.

Including a cup of green tea, my meal came up to ¥29,800 (inclusive of tax and service charge).

Will I recommend Sushi Inomata? I definitely enjoyed myself. Sushi was great. Instead of refined, one should think of his style as bold and… Rough? Influenced by Hatsunezushi, head chef Inomata san aged (jukusei) his fishes. Though not all. His sushi was also heavier on the palate as his rice was seasoned stronger with sake less vinegar. My friend and I had lots of laughter thanks to his warm and very adorable wife too. Head chef Inomata san, the shy and gentle bear, couldn’t converse in English. So when my friend and I couldn’t understand him, his wife would take out her pocket translator and translate on his behalf. So cute. We honestly loved the husband-wife team. I only wish their restaurant was more accessible.

And since my February 2018 dinner at Sushi Inomata, there have been more changes. The space was renovated, and Sushi Inomata has collaborated with Hatsunezushi from March 2019. So instead of their former 6 operating days, Sushi Inomata is only open on Wednesdays and Thursdays with 3 seatings.

SUSHI INOMATA 鮨 猪股
Sunlive Saiwai-Cho Courthouse, 1-12-23 Saiwaicho, Kawaguchi, Japan (埼玉県 川口市 幸町 1-12-23 サンリーブ幸町コートハウス)
+81 48 211 4175, Tablelog
Overall: 8
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Wed – Thur : 14:00 – 22:00
Ambience: 7
Value: 7
Service: 9
* Closed on Mon, Tues, Fri, Sat & Sun

Lunch @ 진미통닭 Jin Mi Tongdak (Suwon, Korea)

March 13, 2019 in Korean

As mentioned in my previous post, my (ex-)crossfitters and I took a day trip to Suwon from Seoul. And for lunch, we headed up to Jin Mi Tongdak as seen in episode 36 of ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’.

Located in Suwon’s chicken alley, the restaurant was easily identifiable by its huge logo. And arriving during lunch hour, the tables on the ground floor were fully occupied. It’s also on the ground floor that the kitchen was at. One could catch glimpses of the frying action since windows separated the kitchen from the dining area.

The staff pointed us to the staircase where there were more tables at second storey. And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Side dishes, Complimentary (above)

2) 반반 (후라이드 + 양념), ₩16,000):


(A) Fried chicken (half) (above) – Fried in traditional cast iron pot (gamasot), these were finger-licking good! The batter was crispy, and the meat (within) was juicy. And what’s unique at Jin Mi Tongdak was that fried chicken gizzard was given too. A must try!

(B) Spicy chicken (half) (above) – Coated with a sweet yet slightly spicy sauce, the spicy chicken was good too. Although if we had to choose, our votes went to the original.

3) 후라이드, ‎₩15,000 (above) – Fried chicken. After trying the half-half, we wanted more and unanimously went with full portion of the original. Every table was also given a bottle of the ‘spicy chicken’ sauce. So we figured we can have the best of both worlds by ordering the original-flavoured chicken and also enjoy it as ‘spicy chicken’ with the sauce provided on the table.

4) Draft beer (above)

Said to be the original and number 1 fried chicken restaurant in Suwon, Jin Mei Tongdak is highly recommended. I am craving for their fried chicken as I pen my thoughts of this place. I wonder if they do delivery to Seoul… I would definitely order if they do, since I doubt I would be making any day trip to Suwon when I am next back to Korea.

JIN MI TONGDAK 진미통닭
117-1 Namsu-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
경기 수원시 팔달구 정조로800번길 21. [지번] 남수동 117-1
+82 31 255 3401, Naver
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 7
Tues – Sun : 12:00 – 00:00
Ambience: 6
Value: 8
Service: 7
* Closed on Mon

Dinner @ 365붉은대게공판장 (Sokcho, Korea)

March 10, 2019 in Korean

Besides heading to Suwon, the other day trip my (ex-)crossfitters and I went from Seoul was to Sokcho.

  

If one had been following my ‘Korea trip 2017′ food posts, one would have already guessed it’s through the Korean food show ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’ that I got to learn about the restaurant 365붉은대게공판장. Feature in episode 84, the restaurant sold 2 types of crab; Bakdal snow crab and red snow crab.

And from the menu, we ordered:-

1) Side dishes, Complimentary (above)


  

2) 홍게찜 (2마리부터), 싯가 (above) – With a minimum order of 2, we ordered 3 steamed red crabs since there were 4 of us. We were charged ‎₩90,000 for the 3 crabs. And eating these was such a breeze. The skilled staff would do the necessary preparation works such that we required no utensils at all. Like the crab legs, the meat slid out easily just by pushing the tip into the shell.


3) 밥, Complimentary (above) – And with every order of the crab, one could get a complimentary fried rice. Now… The restaurant didn’t present us with the fried rice automatically as seen on the Korean food show ‘Baek Jong Won’s Top 3 Chef King’. But since I watched the show and vaguely remembered Mr Baek enjoying the fried rice, we enquired about it. And that’s when the staff asked us for the quantity. Having forgotten that it was complimentary since I watched the episode months before our actual trip, we ordered 2 instead of 3. A real pity cause the fried rice was so good! A must try.


  

4) 홍게라면, ‎₩15,000 (above) – Crab ramyeon.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at 365붉은대게공판장. I would definitely recommend one to come for their crabs if one is in Sokcho. Just remember one should be ordering their red crabs!

365붉은대게공판장
1341-1 Cheongho-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do, South Korea
강원 속초시 설악금강대교로 11. [지번] 청호동 1341-1
+82 33 636 1125, Naver
Overall: 7
Opening hours:-
Food/Beverage: 8
Mon – Sun : 11:30 – 22:30
Ambience: 6
Value: 7
Service: 7