Nuffnang ad

Sunday, January 25, 2015

One Sunday At Inagiku

Often touted as one of the top-of-mind Japanese restaurants in Metro Manila, Inagiku (located at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel) has earned itself a loyal following as well as favorable reviews in local foodie blogs. I was once feted here by a friend who insisted that she could cajole the chef into cooking bits of bovine fat into such marvelous crispness that it could send one into food orgasm. (The chef did oblige, and after tasting it furtively, my friend's "request" certainly made a compelling case for the former in the food vs. sex debate.)

In line with this, let's move on to delights more suited to the palate.

Art and I knew Inagiku as a place of calm and quiet, having been to this restaurant separately on weekdays. Sundays, however, are a different matter. As soon as the doors opened (at 11:30 AM), the hostess lead the first party in - and everyone else didn't bother waiting for her to return, and proceeded inside on their own to find "their" tables. 

I proceeded to do a quick run through of the different stations, this being my first time to eat here on a Sunday. I passed by the salad station and thought to myself, you're not going to get much play today.

At the farthest end of the spread was a chef cooking up a huge serving of sukiyaki. I knew right away what my first dish would be.

I had a sip of the sweet, savory broth and felt what everyone feels when having their soup of choice: a warm, fuzzy buzz all over. Though Art insists the broth was too sweet for his taste, I found it to be perching a Goldilocks-like balance with the savory portion: just right. (Proof positive that taste is highly subjective.) I've had three different versions of this dish from other local Japanese restaurants, and they were either too sweet or a little watery. This one hit the spot, and set the tone for the upcoming fare.

Knowing they do their beef justice (see first paragraph), I asked the chef to cook us 2 servings of the 2 beef varieties they had for grilling: a thick cut, and the other one was thinly sliced. We prefer our meat medium to medium rare, and in what seems to me to be an internal magic clock in chefs (or, more likely, having the weight of experience), he knew the exact moment to pull it out of the heat and served it just the way we like it. I knew my arteries were hardening just by smelling the delectable morsels, but as Mr. Wilde advised, I beat temptation by hurling the fat-laden pieces down my throat.

I also opted to have some scallops - in my mind this was considered "lighter fare" - but I think the resulting dish was not as stellar as the beef because the freshness of the seafood was almost drowned in butter/oil.

No trip to a Japanese restaurant can be considered complete (in my book, anyway) without tasting their sashimi - and the sight of the ruby and orange squares (tuna and salmon) all laid out made sure I would not miss out on testing Inagiku's definition of freshness. They did not disappoint: I know it's odd, but I like it when my raw fish doesn't have a fishy smell. The sashimi tasted bright, if that even makes any sense.

There were several other dishes which I failed to take in - mostly because I was already satiated from what I did try. (Does this mean a return trip is in order?) Side note: While we do not have a picture of them, we thoroughly enjoyed the ebi tempura, which had a light but flavorful batter, and shrimps that were noticeably more plump than most.

I found many of the desserts charming to the eye. While I did see many varieties, I only tried a few of them - ah, the vagaries of reaching age 40, but one has to temper the consumption of sweets. But who says we cannot make take them in visually?

For some reason, this green ball struck me as the prettiest of them all.

And inside it was a pleasant surprise.

A swathe of matcha cream topped with red beans, both of which are ingredients that have always tickled my taste buds. But don't fret if you prefer sweets from nature, you will not be disappointed.

I remember reading somewhere - the name of the blog escapes me just now - that you had to request for ice cream because it was not readily "available," and I found that to be just the case. It was quite delightful to be having this cold dessert in unconventional flavors - black bean and wasabi.

The wasabi variety was especially masterful, having the flavor of its namesake without the sting.

We found ourselves in a virtual food coma, but thank goodness for the tea provided, which helped to soothe our feelings of immobility. At more than PhP (Philippine Pesos) 2,300.00 per person, this is not something I would partake of everyday. But if you're looking for Japanese fare that will put a smile on your (now bloated) face, a trip to Inagiku might be just what you need.


2nd Floor, Makati Shangri-la Hotel
Ayala Avenue corner Makati Avenue,
Makati City 1200

No comments:

Post a Comment